Booster Club fund drive cooking with Chili Challenge, other events
Tonganoxie High School booster club president Bryan Kemp is hoping the school's Chili Challenge, VIP Experience and VIP Parking events will become annual traditions.
The Chili Challenge, which took place in mid-December before the first varsity girls and boys home game, raised about $1,000, according to Kemp.
"It was a really special night," Kemp said. "We didn't have a clue how much it would raise. Let's just say we were not disappointed."
Tonganoxie residents Mike Sample and Joe Krivjansky took first and second place, respectively, in the Chili Challenge.
The challenge consisted of 16 entrants. The judges were the tasters. The tasters who came by the challenge could try each entrant's chili for $5. They would then write down what chili, numbered one to 16, they enjoyed the most.
The VIP Experience is a live public auction the booster club offered for anyone desiring to sit in the four courtside couch chairs to view the varsity boys basketball games.
Kemp said that the public auction for the first home game went for $200. The VIP Experience at the second home game went for $250.
The winning bidder of the VIP Experience also receives complimentary food catered to the couch chairs near the court. The first home game included shrimp cocktail, cheese and crackers, shish kabob skewers and an apple crisp dessert.
The second home game included baby back ribs as the main course and a banana split for dessert.
The booster club has held the public auction in between the girls and boys varsity games this season. However, that will change. Kemp said the booster club would meet soon to decide where and when the auction would be held. A place and time have not been determined.
"I think it was too disruptive for the visiting and home teams the way we had it," Kemp said. "We had an auctioneer over the P.A. system while the (varsity boys) teams were trying to warm up. We're going to try to make it more friendly for the athletes."
According to Kemp, the two available spaces for the VIP Parking cost $210 apiece. The spots, which are located in the front row near the gym, are valid for the duration of the basketball season.
The money raised from the three events will go toward the Point of Pride project, which is the new gateway that will be constructed on the southwest side of the THS football stadium. The project will cost around $15,000.
The gateway will be the main entrance on the southwest side of the stadium. It will measure 20 feet by 12 feet and contain an eight-foot hallway. Ticket counters will be placed in the building.
More than a month ago, Kemp said that the gateway could be completed by spring 2008. That possibility still remains, depending on the severity of the weather in the upcoming months. For instance, Kemp said that the recent snow has completely stopped the progress of the gateway.
As of now, the hill on the southwest corner of the stadium has been excavated and leveled out for a smoother surface. Concrete will eventually replace the gravel.
"If you've driven by there, you'll see the big hump is gone," Kemp said. "It's absolutely fabulous. It's going to make a really nice, attractive entry way to the stadium."
The next step will be laying the footings and the floorboards in place. Then, once weather permits, the crew can start laying down the blocks for the gateway.