I attended and graduated from Berkshire High School with, what I call, the opposite of a running scholarship. Instead of them paying me to run, I ended up having to pay them to showcase my talents in Cross Country and Track. The joke’s on them, because I wasn’t that talented so they got ripped off!
When I was in 9th grade, it cost me (technically my parents) $250 to play sports for the year. By the time I was a senior, that price raised to $300 per sport! That’s $600 that my parents had to pay for just me–let alone my brother (Football and Track) and my sister (Cross Country). It even got to the point where they were charging $300 to be in marching band! I loved my trombone, but shelling out that kind of kale isn’t worth all the girls’ phone numbers I could have got because I was a poetic, soul-searching musician (my mom always told me girls find that attractive, although looking back now I think she was being more nice than truthful to me). Either way, paying money to run made every race and track meet I competed in feel like I was paying off an IOU to the school.
I’m talking about that good old “Pay to Play” scenario which seems to be more and more popular in Ohio high schools. Levies don’t pass, or budgets cause programs to shut down unless they charge the student athletes to pay to play for their sport. For some school districts, the cost is much higher than others.
Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) made the difficult decision earlier this year that they have to cut all Spring sports to try to save money. Normally, baseball and softball would be part of this mix but thanks to Cleveland Indians Charities (the charitable arm of the Cleveland Indians), these two sports will still be in play.
Every year since 1995, Cleveland Indians Charities has made a contribution to CMSD to help fund their baseball and softball programs. Because of the annual contribution made by Cleveland Indians Charities, these two programs will not be included in the cut of Spring sports!
It takes roughly $350 to support a team for the season and thanks to Cleveland Indians Charities’ generous financial donors, in-park silent auctions, Fantasy Camp, Celebrity Golf Outing and numerous other fundraisers, we are able to cover the cost of the school district’s teams and eliminate the dreaded ‘pay to play’ scenario.
Cleveland Indians Charities is dedicated to provide baseball opportunities to the youth of Cleveland and, to date, they have donated over 2.2 million dollars to CMSD to ensure all students have that opportunity. To find out more about Cleveland Indians Charities and how you can make your dollars count, go to www.indians.com/community and click on the Cleveland Indians Charities box.