PTO encourages TigerFest attendance

Meghan Kennedy, Staff Writer

BV’s biggest PTO-sponsored fundraiser, TigerFest, will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 19 in the gymnasium and the commons.
Since 2005, TigerFest has raised about $390,000 for clubs, activities and teams.
Organizers expect 400 people to attend the event.
“TigerFest is just another way that BVHS extends the sense of community,” TigerFest chairperson Cathy Porter said. “All clubs and groups are invited to participate.”
Porter says she has set high expectations for the upcoming festivities.
“TigerFest 2010 cleared approximately $44,000,” she said. “We are looking forward to another successful year.”
Publicity chairperson Jean Dennis said the event is the only opportunity for many clubs to raise money.
“It’s our school’s primary fundraiser,” she said. “It’s kind of a big deal.”
TigerFest also benefits BV sports. Soccer coach Dean Snell said it affects his team in a variety of ways.
“We replace the uniforms about every 4-5 years and they cost around $5-$7,000,” he said. “We raise funds so we can replace needed equipment. We replace half the soccer balls every year and every few years we need new nets and pennies.”
To raise money for the soccer team, Snell said they have to solicit businesses and ask if they would like to donate to the event.
“It’s not required that our players raise money, but we strongly encourage our players to play their part,” he said.
Snell said TigerFest does not always go as well as expected.
“We have had some challenges in the process of raising money,” he said. “It seems the parents are more interested than the players are.”
Football coach Eric Driskell said the money his team raises is used for equipment, travel expenses and meals when they go on long road trips.
“It costs about $1,000 to feed the varsity football team one meal,” he said.
Driskell said the team knows in order to get new supplies, they need to raise funds.
“[The players] know it is a part of being a team, and we need to have the funding to do the things we want,” he said
To get recognition for the event, Dennis said the PTO publicizes with flyers, advertisements and word of mouth.
“We try to promote the event to the BV community,” Dennis said. “We use Tiger Tidbits to get information out, as well as our website.”
In addition to having parents, teachers and clubs attending, Dennis said the PTO invites all students to be a part of the festivities.
“We encourage students to get involved in TigerFest,” Dennis said. “Students are welcome to come. I want to really stress that.”
Porter said in this economy, the PTO board has to work extra hard to have a successful TigerFest.
Porter said the TigerFest committee still expects fundraising and attendance to be the same as previous years.
“We realize that the economy is not great, but we are advertising and getting the word out about budget cuts in the BV school district,” Porter said.
Dennis said she loves to meet with the families and see the excitement on people’s faces during the event.
“TigerFest is a great thing,” Dennis said. “You’re helping others, while you’re really helping yourself. It doesn’t get better than that. It’s just a great day to be a tiger.”