FAIRFIELD — Even though high school sports programs in the city haven’t been threatened with elimination the past couple of years, most programs are functioning well below full funding levels.
The struggling programs at Fairfield High are a prime example of that.
To combat the funding problems a little bit, the school’s Athletic Department hosted a benefit dinner Thursday at the Fairfield Community Center.
Athletic director and boys basketball coach Eddie Wilson said the school’s teams sold 265 tickets with the hopes of raising around $3,000 between the tickets and a silent auction.
“The Athletic Department takes some of the money and the teams take half of the proceeds for the tickets they sell,” Wilson said.
Wilson said Thursday’s dinner had two purposes.
“We’re hoping to do a couple of things,” he said. “One is to unify the Athletic Department, which it hasn’t been, and then hopefully raise a little money.”
It was apparent early in the evening that the dinner was doing both.
“It’s fun to see the soccer coach talking with the baseball coaches,” Wilson said. “It’s exciting.”
The crowd that packed the Community Center auditorium included city employees, Fairfield High alumni, athletes, parents and even former administrators. Longtime athletic director and boys basketball coach Ron Thompson, for whom the school’s gym is named, was thrilled to see the turnout.
“I think it’s great because they need to be revived,” Thompson said. “To me this ought to be a good revival.”
Thompson said he was happy to see the numbers as people filed through the food line for their Texas Roadhouse rib dinner.
“I think it’s definitely a positive step. They should do well tonight,” he said. “I’m really encouraged by this.”
Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter.com/mcorposdr.