A Friends And Neighbors (FAN) Club that only a year ago was on the edge of shutting down is now purring like a finely tuned V-8.
The resurgence of the booster group is due to a dedicated band of parents and townspeople who stepped up to take over the organization when founders and previous officers resigned.
“The support for our kids continues,” said current club treasurer Wanda Randall.
Since taking over the reins of the group, new FAN members have spearheaded several events including a fry bread dinner, veterans’ night at a football game and Race for the Cure sponsorship.
In all, FAN club contributions this year to student programs total $29,618.
Fish fry for basketball teams
Next up for the organization is the annual boys and girls basketball fish fry benefit dinner. It will be held 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 29 in the Rim Country Middle School cafeteria.
Meal tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for children and $30 for a family ticket.
Best of all, is the meal includes lip-smacking deep fried fish, slaw, rolls, a drink and a chance for old fashioned small-town camaraderie.
Also that evening, the PHS jayvee and varsity basketball teams will be playing Globe, which means after a delicious meal, fans can wander over to Wilson Dome to cheer on the Longhorns.
While the benefit requires a good deal of work from coaches, players and FAN club members, the money earned is a huge boost for the basketball programs, enabling them to purchase much-needed items that can’t be bought from the strapped tight athletic budget.
But the hoop teams are not the only ones to benefit from the FAN Club’s benevolence.
In September, at a back-to-school fry bread dinner, the FAN Club raised more than $1,500, which will be used to fund extra-curricular programs at Rim Country Middle School.
Also in the fall, the FAN Club earned about $1,100 at a pancake breakfast to help the Longhorn cross country teams travel to an out-of-state meet.
At an Oct. 1 football game vs. Snowflake, the booster organization sponsored a first-ever Veterans’ Night, which members hope will become an annual event.
“Karen Carlen did a great job organizing,” said Randall.
At an Oct. 22 football game, the club hosted a Breast Cancer Awareness Night and the players wore pink ribbons on their helmets. Also that evening, officials discarded their traditional penalty flags of yellow in favor of pink.
Sticker donations at the game raised $250, which will help Kim Lower participate in Race for the Cure. Lower is walking in memory of her sister.
By sponsoring 50/50 raffles at sporting events, the FAN Club has also been able to earn a portion of the money needed to pay for the new floor level time clocks that have been installed at both ends of the Wilson Dome court.
“These were badly needed, as it was difficult to impossible for players and officials to see the time on the overhead scoreboard,” said Randall.
For more information about the FAN Club or to join, call president Donovan Thornhill at (480) 540-6928.