Did you know that most of the sports teams in the Chelsea School District receive funding and support from a group of volunteers and athletic department officials called the Chelsea Athletic Boosters (CAB)?
CAB is a non-profit 501c3 organization that was formed in 1976 by the parents of Chelsea High School student-athletes. Each athletic team has a volunteer representative. Some serve on the CAB Board of Directors, and/or volunteer at events – all in support of Chelsea Athletics.
Twenty-one of the district’s 29 sports have representatives that comprise the CAB, which meets each month to discuss and plan fundraising activities that benefit both the high school and middle school athletic teams. In the past year, more than $40,000 was spent by the Booster club for things including helping cover the cost of new uniforms, athletic training supplies, and needs for individual sports; like a mat lamp for the wrestling team.
And although each sport holds individual fundraisers, CAB augments the expenses of running all programs. Unlike most schools in the state, school funded sports are not “pay-to-play” in Chelsea. However, we do have self-funded teams (Sideline Cheer, Hockey, Bowling, Water Polo, Field Hockey, Equestrian and Lacrosse) where there is a fee charged to participate. These are often referred to as Club Sports and have their own individual Board of Directors.
However, CAB does support ALL sport teams by paying for things such as CPR training for coaches (which is required of all coaches), varsity letters/numerals/championship patches, and the Annual Head Coaches Retreat, said Athletic Director Brad Bush.
In addition, the CAB awards two scholarships each year to student-athletes. Last year, a member of the field hockey team and a member of the lacrosse team received these scholarships, he said.
In the fall, for example, there are 12 sports on the high school level:
- Boys and girls cross country
- Equestrian (self-funded)
- Field hockey (self-funded)
- Girls golf
- Sideline cheer (self-funded)
- Boys soccer
- Girls swimming
- Boys tennis
- Boys water polo (self-funded)
On the middle school level (7th and 8th grade) there are:
- Coed Cross Country
- Field hockey (self-funded)
- Sideline Cheer (self-funded)
The boosters have four major fundraisers each year – concession sales from football and basketball games, a scrap metal drive, a golf outing, and the Chelsea Community Fair gates, where CAB volunteers sell tickets at each of the entry points, and in turn, receive a percentage of the total tickets sales.
The boosters serve as a funding and support arm for Chelsea Athletics, and are custodians of funds raised with multiple checks and balances in place.
Individual teams have their own financial accounts, including deposits and payments from accounts, and hold team fundraisers.
This year, Ryan Ratliff was elected as the new CAB president.