Cookie dough, candy bars and “free-throw-a-thons.” These are some of the ways Mesa High raises money for its athletic programs.
“We do a lot of different things,” said Scot Schmidt, athletic director at Mesa High. “Overall, we have many different ways of raising money. I mean, we sell T-shirts, jackets, cookie dough and license plates. Each program really focuses on raising the money themselves, so it is up to the team.”
The basketball program has a unique approach.
“In November, we get pledges from people, like students and staff, and we call it a free-throw-a-thon,” said basketball coach Shane Burcar. “Let’s say a student donates one penny, we shoot 500 free throws and if we make 400 of those, the student has to pay $4.”
“Another thing that we do is sell T-shirts,” said Mr. Burcar. “We make six bucks per shirt. We really want to sell the shirts for two reasons; we have many different people with Mesa shirts and it builds character for the players who are trying to sell this product. It makes them use their social skills.”
Everything the team raises goes right back to the players. This includes socks, T-shirts, bags and game gear.
The softball program at Mesa caters to what the local community and students like.
“We sell chocolate bars because a lot of kids at school like them so they sell really fast,” said junior softball player Brianna Vasquez. “The time that I have been here, we sold chocolate both years. I actually enjoy selling the candy because it makes us feel accomplished and we can help get new equipment and T-shirts to represent Mesa.”
The candy bars cost $1. All of the programs raise money a couple of months prior to the beginning of the season.
Nick Ramirez is a journalism student at the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and wrote the article as a class assignment.