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Tiger booster club looks to grow

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As spring sports seasons come to an end, Farmington High School is also wrapping up its participation in the Missota Conference. With that in mind, Tiger Fan Club is putting out a request for new members.

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Tiger Fan Club is an organization that exists to support Farmington athletics and the community. As FHS moves to the bigger South Suburban Conference, current members are looking for new folks to step up and help with the transition.

Tiger Fan Club has helped generations of Farmington student athletes. It provides funding for things like extra equipment and coach training opportunities, or funding to help defray travel expenses for students attending sport-related camps.

The club finds its funding primarily by running the concession stand during high school athletic events. But participation has been down in recent years, and when the new school year starts, funding needs for the FHS athletic programs will only go up.

“It’s hard when you only have a limited number of active participants,” said incoming president Tom Smith. “People want to watch their kids play. We get that. I had a soccer player and I would not work the stand while my kid was playing. If we had 20 active people, they could take turns so no one would miss their kid’s game. That certainly would be a great number to have.”

At the end of this school year, Tiger Fan Club will lose five of its members, each of whom holds a two-year term. Outgoing present Deanna Guyot is among those members stepping down. She’s been on the board for nine years while all of her kids have gone through FHS, but her youngest, Dallas, graduates Friday.

A lot of things have changed during her years on the board. Back when she started, Tiger Fan Club had a golf scramble as a fundraiser, and the organization offered scholarships to senior athletes. Tiger Fan Club also selected and honored past athletes by sponsoring the FHS Hall of Fame. All of those things have fallen by the wayside as volunteers and board members have stepped down.

“Our struggle has always been finding volunteers,” she said.

Now that FHS is going to the South Suburban Conference, the school will need all the help Tiger Fan Club can offer. Some booster programs in the conference make enough to help pay coach salaries, but it may be some time before Farmington is ready to make those kinds of expenditures.

In the meantime, the Tiger Fan Club board hopes to find some new members and generate some new ideas for fundraising projects, Smith said.

“Going into the South Suburban, there are some conversations and ideas on how to enhance our program and do some more fundraisers. At this point, we are just in conversation. We’re looking at what we can do and what we think we can handle,” he said.

“In all of our fundraising, 100 percent goes back into the community and into the kids. Everything we do is for the kids. I think we have raised and donated back to the kids in some way, shape or form, $30,000 a year.”

The other part, Guyot and Smith both stressed, is that Tiger Fan Club helps pick up the tab on equipment or travel expenses, just so parents of student athletes do not have to worry about covering those extra costs.

Tiger Fan Club meets once a month, usually on the first Wednesday of the month. Members are also asked to help participate in some of the fundraising activities.

For more information or to become a member of the Tiger Fan Club, visit TigerFanClub.org, or contact Deanna Guyot at 612-718-1002.

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Michelle Leonard
Michelle Leonard started covering the Farmington community in June, 1994. Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the Farmington American Legion Auxiliary Unit 189, and acts as the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 
(651) 460-6606
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