Racing for funds

Track kicks season off with a fundraiser


Anya Panday

Junior Silas Cowell picks up his coupon cards in the St. Louis Park cafeteria Saturday. Track athletes received coupon cards to sell for their fundraiser March 25.

Alicia Mainjeni and Anya Panday

The Park track team is starting off the season with fundraising in hopes of more team bonding and team merchandise.

Athletes gathered in the cafeteria March 25 to get their coupon cards for the main day of their season fundraiser. Track is selling coupon cards for $20 to raise funds for the team’s season in order to afford new merch and team bonding activities. 

According to sophomore Ellie Minnick, though the runners didn’t assist in planning they still had opportunities to volunteer.

“I did not know about this until a parent meeting a couple nights ago but there wasn’t a whole lot of planning for all of the track people but for the captains and adults,” Minnick said. “I know my mom signed up to be a parent driver and we tried to sell at least 10 cards before today and I did so.”

Track hired a fundraising specialist to help maximize the profit they received from the fundraiser. Fundraising specialist Alex Gorsky with Impact Fundraising said to prepare for the fundraiser, he helped reach out to different franchises in order to organize different discounts for the coupon books.

“Quite a bit of work went into planning,” Gorsky said. “I talked to the administration and The Booster Club and they gave me a list of local vendors in Park that they want to support. I went out with the franchises and signed contracts with each of them and they offered a discount that is unlimited use for a year.”

According to freshman Shepard Cox, one of the main incentives for people to participate in the fundraiser was the potential to raise money for more opportunities.

“There’s a big push to sell all (the coupons) because in the past we haven’t been able to do as many fun things because we haven’t raised enough money,” Cox said. “If we can raise enough money here then we’re able to do more fun things and have game days and pasta parties.”

Track and Field  had been selling coupons for a week leading up their main fundraising day. Gorsky said that the team hopes to raise an additional few thousand dollars in addition to their previous profits. 

“This (fundraiser) started last week when I first handed out packets to every student and they could go sell at their own time,” Gorsky said. “Today is the official blitz day where they’re going to be selling to the general community. Even before (blitz) started we generated over $1,000 in profit for the program and today I’m assuming we’ll be anywhere from probably around $3–4,000 or $5,000.”

Cox said the money earned through the fundraising process is beneficial to not only the team, but the activities they partake in outside of practice.

“The money will go to us especially because we don’t get as much money as say football or other bigger teams do,” Cox said. “A lot of this money goes directly toward us because we don’t have merch or SLP new track clothes.” 

According to Minnick, there are additional ways students at Park can support the track team. 

“They can buy the ticket books we’re selling, and they’re really nice because you get to use them for a year,” Minnick said. “Support the team and ask about different meets.”

Track and Field currently lacks consolidated apparel. Cox said he would like for some of the funds from the fundraiser to support new clothes for the team.

“I would love to have more clothes for us so that we can look like a real team out there,” Cox said. “Sometimes other students from the other schools all wear the same shirts and we’re like It’d be cool to be like that team too.”

Gorsky said he is passionate about the work he does in fundraising.

“I love doing this,” Gorsky said. “I’ve been doing this for about 10 years now. Working with schools and kids and how to raise money toward a common goal is something I love doing.”

The Orioles have their next meet at 3:30 p.m. April 11 vs Jefferson at Jefferson High School.