An effort to organize a spring golf outing as a fundraiser for Trenton High School athletics has gotten a significant boost from a group of students who have pitched in to help with marketing and promotion.

                As part of a class project, students in Chris Crews’ Marketing I class have been spreading the word about the golf outing to the community in an attempt to get sponsors and golfers to support the first-time event, planned for Saturday, May 7, at Lake Erie Metropark Golf Course.

                And the results thus far have been pretty impressive, according to Athletic Director Bret Woodley, who conceived the idea of holding the golf outing as perhaps the first step in a larger effort to raise private funds to help support school sports.

                Woodley said the students have been doing a great job and have been well-received in their efforts by the Trenton business community. Within the first few weeks the student team had found takers for 12 of 18 available hole sponsorships and assisted with efforts to find golfers.

                Woodley also is reaching out to Trenton alumni for support of the event, and is also getting assistance from Trenton golf coaches James Trush and Denise Setser, members of the boys golf team and Marketing II students who operate the school store, Trojan Trends.

                “The great thing here is if we can just have a community-wide effort we can offset some of the cost that might be passed on to parents and not limit (sports) opportunities for the kids,” Woodley said. “We want to be proactive.”

                And Crews’ marketing class “team” has been leading the charge, headed by “project managers” Alysha Kubala, Megan Wilson, Natalie Dumais and Rosalie Stackpole.

                Crews said the marketing class is ideal for putting students into projects that will give them experience dealing with “real-world” problems and situations, and the golf outing seemed like another great opportunity for a learning experience.

                “I have good kids,” Crews said. “They are just constantly exceeding my expectations with projects like this.”

                Crews said he gets a wide array of students in the marketing class, and most enjoy doing this kind of “school work.”

                “I truly enjoy teaching this subject matter because you can see exactly how that impacts a young person,” he said.

                The class members put together their own sales literature, which outlined the sponsorship opportunities, as well as pricing for golf, and then dropped it off at numerous businesses around town.

                Crews said there was no direct solicitation during that initial visit, but the students told the business owners and managers than they would follow up later.

                But when following up, the students found the business generally very supportive and encouraging.

                Woodley is hoping to use the golf outing to build momentum for future fundraising ventures. He also is working on an online auction that is planned for June.

                “We’re trying to find a way to raise $50,000 a year to support athletics,” he said. Those dollars would be used to help pay costs for equipment, transportation, uniforms and other items, and at the same time help offset potential increases in pay-to-play costs that might be passed along to families as a result of funding cutbacks.

                Woodley hopes to see the fundraising effort evolve into formalized district-wide booster club in the coming year, but plans to move cautiously in response to concerns that the new club might hamper the efforts of existing fundraising arms, such as the Trenton Touchdown Club, the Band Boosters or the newly formed Bullpen Club for baseball, plus a variety of smaller fund-raisers held by various sports teams throughout the year.

                He also has procedural issues to address, such as forming a 501(c)3 charitable organization, which will give donors the advantage of tax deductibility on whatever funds they donate to the club’s efforts.

                Among the sponsors that had been secured as this issue was going to press were Concepts in Travel, Jersey Giant Subs, M&M Camping Center, Lucid Agency, Martenson Funeral Home, Shore to Shore Credit Union, Xcel, A Touch of Glass Florist, Drs. Hunter & Lupini, Suburban Industries, Vince Palazzolo (two holes), the Trenton Trib and West Grange SavMor Pharmacy.

                Each business paid $100 to have a sign near one of the tee boxes.

                The tournament will have a capacity of 144 golfers, or 36 foursomes. The cost per golfer is $75, which includes 18 holes with cart, lunch, steak dinner, range balls, proximity prizes and door prizes.

                Registration will be conducted from 7-7:45 a.m. with shotgun start at 8 a.m.

                Lake Erie Metropark Golf Course is located at 14700 Lee Road in Rockwood. To register a team, contact Woodley at (734) 363-3689 or woodleyb.trenton.k12.mi.us@gmail.com

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