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    “Save Our Sports” event coming up

    The athletes at Albany High School are just not going to let Arnold Schwarzenegger and state legislators take away their bats and balls, championships and opportunities to compete.

    Instead, coaches, athletes and parents have organized “Save our Sports” – a massive fundraising tournament and auction they hope will raise enough money to let AHS continue its 18 interscholastic sports this year despite losing half its sports funding to state budget cuts.

    Their “Save Our Sports” fundraiser is a golf tournament, auction and dinner planned for August 21st at the Tilden Park Golf Course and the Emeryville Hilton Garden Inn.

    The goal of this event is to raise $50,000 to save “all” sports at Albany High School,” said Stephen Dunkle, coach of the high school swimming team and one of the organizers.

    The 18 interscholastic sports programs Albany High School have been allocated $97,000 for the year beginning in September – less than half of $212,000 they received the year before.

    Such a deep cut threatens to decimate high school sports, organizers say, and discourage kids from participating.

    “The reality is that is each student is probably going to have to subsidize his or her participation,” said Fred Brown, another organizer and former golf coach at Albany High School.

    Fearing that requiring kids or their families to ‘pay to play’ will decimate the ranks of athletes and make it very difficult for lower income students to participate, Brown said the committee is trying to raise money to allow every student who wants to play sports to do so.

    The committee of several dozen people includes representatives from eahc of the 18 interscholastic men’s and women’s sports.

    This group is actually well on its way to saving AHS sports. Numerous businesses around town have contributed corporate sponsorships and AHS alumni have donated.

    Albany Ford & Subaru has donated a $20,000 car for auction at the event and is the event’s corporate sponsor. Meanwhile, Arkin Tilt Architects, Safeway Corporation, Mary and Joe’s Sporting Goods, Fulford Orthodontics, Arrow Glass, State Farm Insurance, BayCal Financial, Mejia Photography and others made smaller donations. Individuals have made substantial donations as well.

    And alumni groups have stepped forward, especially those from long ago. “The Albany High classes of 1954 to 1962 have donated more than $3,400!” Brown exclaimed.

    To date, 39 players have signed up for the golf tournament.The committee is meeting tonight, Aug. 4, at 6:30 at the Community Center next to the Alameda County Library on Marin Avenue and welcomes new volunteers.
    For more information go to the webpage  or contact Fred Brown at 222-2654.

    By Barbara Grady-Ayer barbgrady@sbcglobal.net

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