Got to Get the Green

Looking at the ways Garfields sports raise money.


Selling boxes of fruit, t-shirts, Sounders tickets and more are just a few of the many ways Garfield student athletes have to do to be able to afford basic necessities to play their respective sport.
With no funding in place for Garfield athletics, fundraisers by teams have become the norm.
Finishing 2nd, 5th, and 4th in State during the past three seasons, Garfield’s Boys Soccer team is one of the top programs in Washington. But with no funding for basic needs you wouldn’t be able to tell. The head coach of the program, Carlos Enriquez would agree.
“When I started with the program, we only had one set of uniforms for all three teams, JVC, JV, and Varsity,” Enriquez said. “So the majority of what we’ve been spending money on the last couple of seasons is just getting uniforms so that every team has a set. Last year JV and JVC had to split a set, so we’ll buy one more set and that’ll be it.”
Although, unlike prior years, the school did help them with something.
“Last year the school actually bought us a set of uniforms, which was a big help,” Enriquez said. “We got backpacks for the varsity team as well. But financially we haven’t gotten a whole lot of support.”
So with little financial support,the program has to rely on mostly donations to get essentials.
“For the last couple years the main way we’ve fundraised for the program is through donations from parents and alumni that we know,” Enriquez said. “Our coaches are all Garfield alumni so our network of alumni is pretty extensive. We don’t only reach out to current families, we have a broad community of generous Garfield soccer alum, and they’re a big reason why we’re able to get the basics.”
So what’s the problem? Why are students and parents having to work extremely hard to get jerseys?
“ASB generally gives a portion of the $50 ASB fee to the athletic program, but here at Garfield they don’t.” athletic director Ms.Lynch said.
But Ms. Lynch plans to change the relationship between the athletic program and asb.
“After winter break I plan on meeting with the ASB to try to implement a plan for athletic funding,” said Lynch. “We’ve also started a concessions program, where the concessions from games goes towards the athletic program.”
With Friday quad games always packing the dawg house with paying spectators, the money from the tickets should be a great boost for the program. But it’s not, so where is the money going towards?
“When a lot of people are paying money to get in the games, we’re not collecting all the money,” said Lynch. “All the profits from the games go down to the district, and is split evenly between all schools.”
Even if gaining profits off of tickets would be a huge help, Lynch isn’t letting the loss of money discourage her and her plans.
“I plan to do a rotating uniform schedule where 1/3 of the teams get new uniforms a year,” said Lynch. “On a year if I bought boys basketball, I’d have to buy girls basketball. If I bought baseball new uni’s, then softball would get new ones.”
With plans forming, and things looking up, it’s looking like Ms.Lynch will take the athletic program another step forward. But when her plans are initiated, we still have to do some of the dirty work.
“Now I’m not saying teams won’t have to fundraise at all, because every team is still going to have to do their own thing,” said Lynch. “But one thing that’s for sure is that a kid shouldn’t have to fundraise just to get a new uniform. That should be a given.”
Another program that not only relies on fundraisers, but lives on fundraisers is the Garfield GIrls Lacrosse program. The program isn’t an official Garfield sport, but a club. So, unlike other programs who can receive support from the school, lacrosse is all on their own. Because of this, the parents and players have to get creative when it comes to fundraising.
“At the start of the year we do this citrus fundraiser, where all the girls are expected to sell 6-8 boxes of oranges, grapefruits and other things to their neighbors and friends, and we get part of the profit,” Junior lacrosse player Lily Palmer said.
With both coaches last year being paid, and lacrosse not being the cheapest sport due to expensive gear, the money from the citrus fundraiser and donations are used up quick.
“A lot of the money goes towards team gear that people can afford, like sticks, mouthguards, and goggles,” Palmer said. “Sometimes we have to go pretty far for games also, so transportation is definitely in the picture too.”
Boys football is one of the more expensive sports Garfield has. With larger numbers and expensive gear such as helmets and shoulder pads, Garfield football relies heavily on the help of family donations and Garfield alumni.
“This past season we had two big fundraisers,” senior Captain Mekhi Metcalf said. “The first was sort of a booster program where you would donate a certain amount of money and you would get your name on things surrounding the team depending on how much money you paid.
After a successful first fundraiser, the team decided to do it again.
“The second fundraiser was through this organization called snap-raise,” Metcalf said. “We would set up profiles with our pictures so people would know who we are, and then put in emails and phone numbers, and the app would send messages to each one asking them to donate.”
Snap-raise was very successful, allowing the program to get new gear.
“The fundraiser lasted for a few weeks and the goal was $3,000,” Metcalf said. “We ended up raising $4,887. This helped us pay for travel, renting fields with lights to practice on, and new gear. Without all the support of friends and families none of that would’ve been possible.”
Garfield’s girls soccer program was another fall sport that had to do a little fundraising to get some new gear.
“One of the fundraisers we did for this season was through a company called Fancloth,” senior captain Carlin Bills said. “It’s a company that makes Garfield clothing, and we would help sell it and we’d get a portion of the profit.”
But like many of our programs one fundraiser is never enough to get everything needed for a program.
“We’ve also done a car wash in the past,” Bills said. “The money from the car wash went to things like portable goals, new balls, and new uniforms so that we had a full kit for all three teams.”
With some of the best teams in the state for multiple sports, it’d probably be shocking to an outsider to hear about all the hard work student athletes do just to get new jerseys. But with a plan in place, it looks like Ms.Lynch will be giving us a lighter load moving forward. Looking at the ways Garfields sports raise money.