They have been at it for decades, working often, quietly behind the scenes to get things done. Equipment has appeared in the weight room at the high school perhaps without much thought as to where it came from, construction has been completed on the Flandreau Fliers football stadium, track and athletic field and people have gladly taken a seat on the new bleachers not knowing how they were built.
But the Flandreau Flier Athletic Booster Club has worked hard to see it all happen.
“Our main purpose is to provide financial support for high school athletics. We have furnished a number of things: stadium seats, wrestling mats, scoreboards for the gyms and football field, the State Championship sign, the digital sign downtown, the Crow's Nest in the gym, tournament medals, ribbons and trophies, the football stadium announcing booth, the scorers table in the high school gym, the lettering on the gym floor and the three athletic banquets held during the year to honor our athletes.
Historically, we have provided personal and financial support for all high school athletic activities which relieves some of the burden of the coaches and the school budget,” said Fred Smith, a longtime club member.
Smith says many in the community are involved in booster club activities, in a variety of ways and the club is incredibly grateful. He adds, there is excellent support from the business community - many of whom are parents, grandparents or friends of our high school athletes.
“It is a way for us to relive our own high school sports years. Some help by coaching the younger athletes or providing equipment or transportation to various camps and/or events,” said Smith.
But he adds, age is catching up on many of them. And they’re hoping to turn things over to those that perhaps, now have their own children playing sports.
“At our weekly meetings held on Saturday morning, 8:00 AM at John's Place, attendance is not what we would like. Our meetings consist of about eight or ten elderly men that don't even have grandkids active in sports anymore. A few coaches attend in season, and we usually have a representation of school administrators so we can discuss athletic assistance requests from coaches and listen to reports of the latest athletic events. On occasion, a parent or two will visit the meeting and provide input in upcoming contests. It is the upcoming tournaments or meets that need the assistance of the general public for ticket sellers, concession stand workers, timekeepers or data entry personnel. We will still help but maybe not as actively as in the past. Many of the older booster club members have been active since the late 60's when the club was first established,” Smith said.
He adds, that without a Booster Club, the school athletic program would have to depend entirely on the school budget.
“We enjoy helping with fundraisers such as the upcoming Pork Feed held the night of the first Flier home football game, the Flier wrestling tournament or the Flier Invitational Track Meet. We don't expect the parents to help when they have a child participating, but we could use assistance at say, one event per year. Our dues are now $20 per family, an increase from $10.00 established in 1969 and not increased until 2012. All money raised is used for high school athletic support and nothing else,” Smith said.
If you would like to get involved, Smith said the best way would be to come to an upcoming Saturday morning meeting, the first of which is Saturday, August 23rd at 8 am. You can also contact Superintendent Rick Weber at Flandreau Public Schools or email Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. He hopes the Club hears from you.
The Flier Booster Club needs you and your participation.
First fall meeting is August 23, 8 a.m. at John’s Place,