It was 2014. Needs throughout the Ferndale School District were clear. Paying for those needs? That was another story. But it was not a story that Greg Ebe intended to leave unfinished. In an email to community leaders, Ebe made the following plea, “it is now clear that much responsibility to help provide our students the programs that they deserve will have to come from outside the District from organizations such as ours. There is a long list of projects, it is time for us to get started.”
They say that necessity is the mother of invention. In this case? Necessity was the mother of a Booster Club.
The Ferndale High School Booster Club enhances the academic experience for students by providing resources for things that the School District may not otherwise be able to pay for with tax-payer money. Examples include the electronic sign at the FHS roundabout and offsetting the cost of activities like sports and dances.
Long-time Booster Club member Victor Boulos recalls the years since the group first came together. “This Booster Club came to life because a group of us decided that the stakes were too high. The needs were too great. We didn’t want to let another class of FHS students graduate without creating an organization that could come alongside and provide additional resources when needed.”
Boulos gives a lot of credit to community partners and one in particular – Lummi Nation. “Lummi Nation has been with us from Day 1,” said Boulos. “When we began the FHS Booster Club, we knew that our first project would be fundraising for an electronic sign at Ferndale High School. We applied for a grant through the LIBC and were awarded a grant to fund the entire project. Every time I look at that sign, I remember that very generous gift. I am grateful for the many ways that Lummi Nation continues to partner with the Booster Club.”
Booster Club Member and Auction Chair, Carol Brumet says that community support has prompted the Booster Club to move forward with another big idea. “We are planning our inaugural Saturday Night Lights event on Saturday, June 22nd. This is a keystone event - the kind of event that alumni will come home to Ferndale to attend. Our community turned out in a really big way to support our recent school bond – we know what it looks like when Ferndale comes together for kids. That is what we see happening at our auction in June.”
When asked what a successful event looks like, Brumet says, “This is a shorts and flip flops event – this event is for everyone – we’d like to see five-hundred people at Pioneer Park under the ‘big white tent.’ Our goal is to raise $200,000.”
Ferndale High School Principal Jeremy Vincent says that the Booster Club makes a big difference for FHS students. “From my perspective, the Booster Club plays an important role in equity on our campus. They make sure that the cost of athletics and extracurricular activities is not a barrier for our students. That is a big deal and I truly appreciate each of the members who step up to give and serve with the Booster Club.”
The story doesn’t stop there. In addition to underwriting the cost of athletics and activities for students, the Booster Club has also made it possible for students to travel to conferences, has brought sound system upgrades to the Performing Arts Center and, two years ago, made it possible for FHS to start a Robotics Club.
Ferndale School District Superintendent Dr. Linda Quinn says, “I am thankful for the individuals who lead our Ferndale High School Booster Club. They meet needs for our students. They fill the gaps where we may not be able to with limited school fund. This group makes a difference for kids in Ferndale. ‘Thank you’ doesn’t quite cover it.”
Booster Club members say that the best way to get involved with the Booster Club right now is save-the-date and help get the word out about the upcoming fundraiser:
Saturday Night Lights
Pioneer Pavilion & Field
Saturday, June 22nd
For additional details about the event and information about the booster club please visit: https://www.fhs-boosters.com/