Friday, February 23, 2024


 See this weeks print edition  

for these stories:

  • Local Bowling News
  • Perkiomen School Opens State Tourney with Win
  • Pedrick Finishes Fourth at Indoor Track Championships
  • Cairns Leads Marymount to Atlantic East Championship
  • Traynor Receives Academic Honor
  • and much, much, more!







Sports Article
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Football Boosters Navigating Uncertainty
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Under normal circumstances members of the Upper Perkiomen Touchdown Club would already be gearing up for the upcoming football season. However, in the age of COVID-19, the organization has yet to finalize its plans for the 2020 campaign.

            The worst part is the uncertainty, according to club President Daryl Mensch.  He said, after canceling its monthly meeting in April, it's unclear how much money the club can raise for the upcoming season or if the team will play at all.

            "Plan for the worst, hope for the best," said Mensch, a Pennsburg resident. "I don't know if we're going to take a drastic financial hit."

            In 2019, the organization – made up of approximately 12 volunteers, parents and coaches – raised between $10,000 and $12,000. Between 24 and 36 businesses throughout the Upper Perkiomen Valley made donations, according to Mensch. He said many paid for sponsorships in the game program, worth between $50 and $500, and participated in Tribe Cards, which provides discounts to customers who purchase them to area businesses.

            Last season, the club spent between $5,000 and $6,000, according to Mensch. He said that included helping to pay for new uniforms, as well as a team meal before each game.

            Additionally, the organization supports players and coaches at the high school and the middle school by providing Gatorade for the team, purchasing football equipment, sponsoring the football awards banquet, presenting team spirit packages to players and delivering other essentials not covered by the athletic department's budget, according to information posted on its website.

            Under the current economic conditions raising money may be difficult since so many local businesses are closed and so many have lost their jobs, according to Mensch. He said fundraising may not be feasible.

            The club could rely on its current savings to cover all its expenses, according to the president. However, he said that might leave the organization with a balance near zero.

The members expect to meet on May 5 over Zoom. According to Mensch, they will be forced to regroup and discuss all contingencies. He said there's a chance the upcoming football season will be eliminated due to concerns over the pandemic.

            "My whole concern is not knowing what is going to happen," Mensch said.

            According to Mensch the booster club could wait until the middle of June before moving forward with plans to fill the program or go with a two-page sheet with roster, as well as proceed with the Tribe Cards. However, he said approaching certain businesses might not be easy.

            In related news, the high school's Blue & Gold Banquet has been canceled. According to Athletic Director Robert Kurzweg, school officials decided to eliminate all after-school and evening activities in coordination with the decision to close all buildings to the public for the rest of the school year. Kurzweg said that included the banquet.

            The Upper Perkiomen Sports Boosters Club pays for the food and awards at the annual event, according to Mensch, who serves as its president.

            The district has started planning alternative ways to celebrate traditional end-of-year activities, according to an email from Kurzweg received April 23. It states that the district is committed to finding ways to honor individual students' accomplishments, especially the graduating seniors.

            "Everything seems very scrambled," Mensch said. "This is unchartered territory."






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