By Sue Moore
A whole new team of Vicksburg Sports Booster members are heading up the annual Booster Bounce fundraiser for 2020. It will take place once again at Indian Run Golf Club in Scotts on Saturday, February 22 from 7:30 p.m. to midnight.
Although the Booster Bounce has been going on for over 30 years, the parents involved keep turning over because their sons and daughters graduate and then the interest lags. Not so for Maryann Willmeng. She ran the event for about 20 years with Endless Summer band playing live music. When the band retired, the Boosters brought in Joe DeBiak, a local DJ, to provide the music in 2002.
Willmeng recalls, “I do know that the Booster Bounce used to be at one of the buildings on the grounds of Felpausch (now Family Fare). That building was torn down years ago. Our kids were babies, and they are now 37 and 35 years old. The dance was always in the summer and the place was jumpin’. One of the years it was so-o-o hot that we invited the band (Endless Summer) and others to come back after the dance and swim in our pool. It was about midnight. So much fun remembering those days! That makes the Booster Bounce go way back to the late 70’s at least,” Willmeng recalls. “The dance now is in the winter, and we invite all coaches free of charge to come and enjoy a night with all their supporters and fans.”
Willmeng and her husband, Tom, are still active in the Boosters. She has produced the sports programs for each season’s teams for many years as part of the group’s fundraisers. While many other parents have given way to the new families involved in Vicksburg sports. Melissa Haddix is this year’s coordinator of the event. She describes it as a fun social evening, open to everyone, not just parents, alumni, and coaches. It calls for casual attire for adults with no students allowed. DJ services will again be provided by DeBiak. There will be appetizers, a cash bar, and lots of raffle prizes awarded throughout the night. The raffle items include professional sporting event tickets and memorabilia from Redwings, Lions, K-Wings, Growlers, gift certificates for restaurants, recreational and entertainment venues and much more.
What is the Athletic Boosters and how do they function, Haddix has been asked by the new recruits. Anybody can join that cares about Vicksburg athletics, she says. The organization is designated as a 501c3 and for many years has sponsored Bingo in Kalamazoo each week. That has helped to pay for the Boosters’ many activities. The athletes receive benefits such as athlete scholarships. The Booster have funded wind screens at all the sports fields. They help to fund the team needs and coaches’ requests for equipment and supplies including tournament fees. Volunteers manage concessions, provide the students with a summer program for speed and agility training and much more. Because of these dollars spent to support Vicksburg athletics, the school has been able to make sure that no athletes have to “pay to play,” Mike Roy, the athletic director points out.
Tickets are $25/person. They can be purchased in advance from any booster member or by contacting Melissa Haddix at 269-281-4990 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.