When it comes to sports, organizations like Save Our Athletic Programs are there to make sure schools can still offer such activities to their students through tough budget times.
SOAP is just one of many groups serving schools within the Fairfield Unified School District to help keep sports alive within the district. The group, now operating as a nonprofit, works to support all athletic programs within the district, often times working closely with booster clubs at Rodriguez, and Fairfield high schools.
“It actually unified us more than anything because it allowed us to be in contact with each other with each of the booster groups and each of the schools, working together to raise money for our prospective sport,” said Deanna Hubbard, who works with the Football and Athletics Boosters Clubs at Fairfield High, as well as SOAP.
Hubbard, who serves as president for the Fairfield Football Boosters Club and treasurer for the Fairfield Athletics Club, said SOAP began to help raise money for transportation and safety equipment last summer, and has had many fundraisers since then. Because SOAP is made up of many that serve in different booster clubs, many of the clubs have been able to build relationships with each other.
“We fundraise with SOAP as well as do fundraising for our prospective programs,” said Hubbard.
Hubbard has two sons that have both played football, baseball, and ran track at Fairfield High. Her youngest son is currently a junior at the school, still participating in the sports programs. Her oldest son graduated and now plays college football.
Still, you don’t have to be a parent of a high school student to be invested in the future of high school sports. Sharon Dunlap is the acting chair of SOAP, though she does not have a child that attends any of the district high schools.
“I personally believe that athletics play a big part in a child’s high school experience,” Dunlap said.
Dunlap said that sports often acts as an incentive for students to keep their grades up. She said that sports are also important because many students depend on them to be able to get college scholarships to help pay for their education, as well. Something she hopes will still be available to her 10 year old grandson when he is preparing for college.
“I’d like to see sports there for him,” said Dunlap.
SOAP is looking forward to hosting many fundraisers this year, including a dance competition, a golf tournament, a candy sale and restaurant dinner events.
Its next meeting is meeting on Monday at 6:30 p.m. at the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District office, 2490 Hilborn Rd., Fairfield. For more information about SOAP, including how to make a donation, call 399-5000.