By Pam Wilson
JEFFERSON -- The school district is having success with sponsorships, bringing in more than a quarter million dollars to help manage costs in a time of tight budgets.
The school board heard Monday that the annual total is $43,350 and the total value of sponsorships currently active is $253,700.
"For a community of our size, that's a sizable amount of dollars," said Mark Rollefson, superintendent of the Jefferson schools.
"A wide array of companies have stepped up to provide valuable assistance to our district, and we're able to track what's being done with that money," said school board President Donna Bente.
She noted that while some of these items are "wants" or "extras," some of them are really "needs" that help provide a better experience for students.
Since creating its sponsorship policy a few years ago, the School District of Jefferson has garnered consistent and expanding support from area businesses and community groups interested in sponsoring athletic facilities and other items at the local schools.
The sponsorship policy was established in 2015, with the idea arising through community feedback and the process guided by a district committee.
The policy was last updated in January to allow for different levels of support and different lengths of contracts, giving donors a high level of flexibility.
Jefferson High School Athletic Director Steve Gee has been tireless in attracting new sponsors, Laura Peachey, director of business services, told the School District of Jefferson Board of Education.
At this time of year, several of these pacts are expiring. In some cases, the work is underway to renew these sponsorships, while in other cases, the district is seeking new sponsors.
In the case of a sponsorship being on hold for a period of time while details are being worked out and another potential sponsor coming forward, the first potential sponsor would be notified and given a short time in which to act or the sponsorship would go to the second party, Peachey noted.
Here are what current sponsorships are:
-- The district currently has three ongoing sponsors for the high school stadium mesh screening: Kearns Motor Cars Inc., Kwik Trip and Thompson and Company S.C. All sponsorships expire in fall. These businesses had pledged $1,000 per year to support the project.
-- The district has yet to release the name of a new sponsor, which is expected to pledge $1,000 per year through the spring of 2025.
-- District officials are working on recruiting a new sponsor for the Eagle Stadium, as well. This sponsorship is valued at $8,000 per year.
--Providing annual support in the amount of $900 per year for the Fischer Field (baseball field) windscreen are Badger Bank (through spring 2023), Helenville Mutual Insurance (through spring 2023), Kearns Motor Cars (through 2019), Mainly Manna Inc./Subway (through spring 2023) and Thompson and Company S.C. (through spring 2023).
-- Supporting the Fischer Field scoreboard in the amount of $400 per year are Ground Affects Landscaping (through 2019) and Hering's Towne Inn LLC (through summer 2021).
Together, the Fischer Field sponsorships support the field facility study, geotechnical engineering services, nets and mats for the outdoor cage, a ball cart, field screen meshing, infield mix, and a bagger system, line chalker and the scoreboard.
-- The sole sponsor for the Jefferson High School swimming pool is Fort HealthCare. This $5,000-per-year agreement has just been signed and runs through the end of May 2026.
-- PremierBank is continuing its sponsorship of the Jefferson High School automated teller machine, located in the high school commons. This agreement, worth $1,500, is renewed annually. The agreement covers the purchase of the ATM, the fees from which go toward student scholarships.
-- The Didion Family Foundation provided a one-time sponsorship to be spread over four years toward the cost of the sound system in the Jefferson High School auditorium. The foundation agreed to provide $7,750 for four years toward the purchase and installation of the new sound system.
-- In addition, PremierBank has signed a 10-year pact, running through the end of 2025, to provide $5,000 per year for Jefferson High School's gymnasium No. 1. This covers coaching and leadership training for athletes, gymnasium sport banners, the concession stand television and the annual payment for the Eye in the Sky sports system.
-- Ground Affects Landscaping has agreed to pay $5,000 per year through February 2026 to help purchase the new scorer's table for gym No. 1.
-- Finally, Badger Bank has provided a $1,800 sponsorship to support four charging stations and cord replacement at Jefferson High School. This pact concludes this year.