Tonawanda News — Members of Tonawanda City School District’s football and cheerleading booster programs are in the midst of an unpleasant disagreement over the right to fundraise at home football games.
Mothers from both organizations, including a large contingent of football booster members, brought their concerns to the school board at Tuesday night’s regular meeting.
Lisa Finiki-Hitzger, a cheerleading booster club member, told the board that she had asked school officials if her organization could sell items at last week’s game. An athletic director approved the fundraising, she said, but a football booster member then denied the request.
“We are racking of our brains thinking of things to sell that football isn’t,” she said.
Although football booster club members denied some of the cheerleading group’s arguments, the disagreements Tuesday centered over allegations that the football group is selling too many items. Cheerleaders are then left with nothing to sell, they argued.
In response, football booster members said that they only have a finite number of games to fundraise, while the cheerleading season lasts all school year.
Dale Zdrojewski, of the football booster club, said they have been selling the concessions at Clint Small Stadium since the early 1980s. These arguments have happened before, he said.
“Years ago, when the booster clubs first started, we had similar issues between soccer and football,” he said. “I ended up being the mediator between the two parties, and now we haven’t had an issue in more than 15 years.”
Zdrojewski offered to be a mediator between the two clubs again in order to straighten out the squabbling.
Despite Zdrojewski’s offer, school board President Sharon Stuart said the matter necessitated a look at the formation of a new policy or the revision of an existing one.
“We need to firm this up,” she said, commenting that the football group may be bullying the cheerleading booster club. “We need to ensure that each group has a fair and equitable share of the fundraising, and to stop the fighting ... because we are all here for the children.”