The stands along the court’s edge at Belmont High School’s Wenner Field House Monday, May 16 – was filled with boisterous kids and rambunctious adults to cheer on a half dozen member of the New England Patriots that took on a team of high school athletes and residents. At half time, the lines to have the players sign autographs stretched across the length of the basketball court.
While the final score was not that important, the outcome of ticket sales and sponsor donations will help the Belmont Boosters in supporting its mission of assisting sports in the public schools. In the past six years, the Boosters have donated close to $170,000 to the athletic programs at Belmont High School including renovating the fitness room, placing a new floor on the basketball court in the field house and remaking the White Field House.
According to Booster’s Vice President Larry Christofori, the game with Patriot players such as running back LeGarrette Blount and Super Bowl XLIX hero Malcolm Butler generated between $15,000 to $20,000.
“It is not the biggest fundraiser for the Boosters, but without a doubt it is truly important because each of our three historically ‘big’ fundraisers – the basketball game, the annual fall Booster Drive and the yearly Golf Tournament – are comparable in terms of net proceeds to the Boosters,” said Christofori.
And while the Patriots usually has a three-game maximum series at each town, “we are negotiating now for future games as so many enjoy the game,” said Booster’s President Jim Reynolds.