Booster Club works behind the scenes to aid MFL MarMac athletics

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MFL MarMac Booster Club officers include president Heidi Landt (left), vice president Robin Lang and treasurer Marcie Boland. Not pictured is secretary Tricia Koeller. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

A lot goes into athletics at MFL MarMac: hard working and dedicated student athletes, good coaching and supportive family, friends and community members. Not to be lost in the equation is the MFL MarMac Booster Club.

For years, the group of parent volunteers—and the funds they raise—has supported athletes in seventh through 12th grades.

“A lot goes to uniforms,” said president Heidi Landt. “We try to keep most uniforms on a five-year rotation.”

The Booster Club’s help, noted treasurer Marcie Boland, takes a financial burden off the school district, allowing more funds to go toward student education. It also takes a burden off parents, especially those who have multiple students in several sports, added vice president Robin Lang. 

Plus, she said, it puts everyone on an even playing field, giving all kids—no matter their socio-economic status—an opportunity to participate in sports.

The Booster Club’s support doesn’t just include uniforms. Their funds help purchase some equipment, like a pitching machine and a tent for the track and cross country teams. They pay annually for the Hudl program, which allows MFL MarMac coaches and athletes to upload and review game film. People also have the Booster Club to thank for the music program that plays the teams’ customized tunes prior to sporting events in the gym. In addition, Booster Club funds purchase supplies for the athletic trainer, bring in a timing program for big track meets and pay for coaches to attend coaching clinics.

At the start of the school year, the group helped bring nationally-known motivational speaker Trevor Ragan to the district, to speak not only to students and staff but the whole community.

MFL MarMac Booster Club funds are raised largely through an annual sponsorship drive and by running concession stands during many sporting events. The group holds fall/winter and spring apparel orders and will put on its annual soup and chili competition in January. However, businesses and individuals are welcome to donate any time of year.

“We’re a nonprofit,” Boland said. “All money goes back to the school.”

No one has to sign up to be a member of the Booster Club.

“If your kid is in middle school or high school sports, you’re a member of the Booster Club,” Landt remarked.

Many parents are supportive by manning the concession stands.

“They not only give back, but they help earn money,” she said.

More help is always welcome, though.

“I played sports here and my kids are in athletics. Once I learned it was the Booster Club who paid for all these things, I did it because it was my way to give back,” Boland said of why she chose to get more involved.

“It’s also my social time to get out and see the sports,” she added.

“I’m a transplant,” Lang mentioned. “It was a way to get to know other people and give back.”

The MFL MarMac Booster Club meets the first Sunday of each month (except for July) at 6 p.m., rotating between the Monona and McGregor centers. The public is welcome to attend. Terms are up in April, so people are also welcome to run for office, Lang said.

More information about the Booster Club and its activities is available on the “MFL Mar-Mac Booster Club” Facebook group page. Boland keeps the group up-to-date on upcoming sporting events and team highlights, something parents and community members have found helpful.

“Parents are more mobile these days,” she said. “Everybody lives by their smartphones.”

The most important thing, said the officers, is that people get out and support the Bulldog athletes.

“We want people to come out and be supportive of the athletes and the school in a positive way,” Lang shared. “They’ve put a lot of time and practice in. That school spirit says a lot about our communities.”

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