Mt. Diablo booster group may save sports

October 19, 2009 6:47:27 PM PDT
A series of fundraisers in the East Bay may have come up with enough cash to save high school sports -- at least for now. The struggling Mt. Diablo School District cut all funding for athletics at the end of the last school year.

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It may be "game on" after all in the Mt. Diablo Unified School District where the community has come together to try to save the sports programs at six high schools, after the district cut all its funding for athletics last spring.

"The district is I think going to recommend favorably," says Pat Middendorf with the United Mt. Diablo Athletic Foundation.

Middendorf is president of a booster group trying to help raise $1.2 million to maintain sports programs this year.

On Sunday, the group held a big fundraiser that brought in about $100,000. They're still about $600,000 short of their goal, but hopeful there's now enough money to keep the ball rolling.

"We are well in the area of keeping sports for winter and spring, as long as the families continue to make their contributions," says Middendorf.

So those who are trying to save sports in the Mt. Diablo School District feel pretty confident that the winter season at least will go forward, but they also know that the final decision is up to the school board.

Paul Strange, a district trustee, says "I think it's a little too early, but all indications are that things are very positive."

Meantime, high school athletes around the district can only wait and worry their sports endeavors may come to a sudden halt.

"Without it, like...it would just be terrible," says soccer player Kaila Wakida.

Basketball player Tom Sprague hopes his senior season is a go.

"I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't play basketball. I would just go home and do nothing, homework," says Sprague.

The school board will vote on whether winter sports will in fact take the court on October 27, 2009.

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