The Groton-Dunstable Athletic Booster Club would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the GDRHS student-athletes and coaches who participated in this year's Phonathon. We'd also like to thank the residents of Groton and Dunstable who received their calls and responded with a generous pledge.

The Booster Club is an organization dedicated to supporting the development and enhancement of a comprehensive athletic program within the Groton-Dunstable school district providing scholarships to senior student-athletes, and granting additional funding for use by the teams over and above what is allocated in the yearly school budget.

Once again this year, over the course of three weeks in March, students gathered at the high school and Middle-School South, making calls to residents in both Groton and Dunstable. Each team was given a specific night and provided with a relaxed and comfortable environment to make their calls. As is true each year, many who may have initially felt a bit nervous in soliciting donations over the phone, soon became very at ease talking with local residents. Their efforts resulted in a very successful Phonathon.

Consistent with previous phonathons, we expect the totals raised by our student-athletes to be close to $20,000 in pledges. Because of their great efforts and our communities' generosity, we are in a strong position to be able to meet the needs of our Crusader sports teams.

The Booster Club is hopeful that all those who generously made a pledge during this year's Phonathon will be able to fulfill their outstanding pledges by June 30.

A good portion of the money raised each year during the Phonathon is used to fund scholarships. Scholarships provide financial aid to college-bound senior student-athletes. Last year, the Booster Club provided scholarship money by awarding 12 $500 scholarships, given on the basis of athletic participation, academic merit, personal and athletic development, and participation in Booster Club activities. In addition, two $1,000 scholarship awards are provided each year in memory of two well-known and much-admired former student-athletes, Brian Kane and Peter Twomey.

In addition to the many scholarships that are awarded each year, dollars raised during the Phonathon are used to satisfy requests submitted by coaches and the athletic director to fund expenses that are not covered by the school budget. We very much encourage and welcome these requests. This year, more than ever, more coaches approached us to utilize the resources we have available. The more successful our phonathons are, the more we can provide the necessary funding to supplement the athletic budget. With the budget deficit, that need will clearly be greater next year.

Money has been used this year to fully fund or supplement the following purchases and services for the Athletic Department:

* Concussion Initiative

* Portable scoreboard and scorer's tables for outdoor fields

* CPR training for all coaches

* Program support for basketball, soccer, hockey and lacrosse

* Boys lacrosse protective goalie equipment

* JV hockey speed-skating clinic

* Indoor practice facilities for spring teams

* Canopies and grills for team cookouts

* Field hockey nets and goalie equipment

* Golf club bags and training video

* HS volleyball net system and installation and middle-school upgrade

* Basketball coaches training workshops

* Tennis courtside storage shed

* Motivational speakers for students and coaches

* Professional development workshops and coaches clinics

* Women in Sports Night

Again, thank you to all participating student-athletes and their coaches as well as residents of both our communities for making this year's Athletic Booster Club Phonathon such a success.

The Booster Club meets the first Wednesday of each month at the high school at 6:30 p.m. in the library. All Groton and Dunstable parents are encouraged to join and become involved.

Nancy Ohringer

GDABC fundraising chairman