Athletic Boosters refuel Pacer athletics after pandemic


Madi Frye

The Euclid Entourage student section gives the Boosters a sense of renewed energy and brings the community back together post lockdown. Photo taken and used with permission by Madi Frye.

Carter Sims, Managing Editor

After the pandemic, the Delaware Hayes Athletic Boosters were in need of a restart. With both admission to games and the ability to connect with the community hindered by the coronavirus, the booster program had its back against the wall.
“Last year, the Delaware Hayes Athletic Boosters were just about broke because of the limitations that were placed on attendance,” Athletic Director Steve Glesenkamp said.
With fan attendance reduced to family members only and concessions downsized, some of the main fundraising avenues were closed off for the boosters.
Not generating some semblance of revenue simply wasn’t an option, though.
“The Delaware Athletic Boosters have fixed expenses,” Glesenkamp said. “Whether we’re taking in money or not at the concession stand, there’s things that we have to pay for. It’s like owning a home.”
In a time of need, Glesenkamp reached out to someone who has made Delaware Athletics just that: a home. After announcing for sporting events at Hayes, assisting in fundraising events and being a supportive member of Delaware’s athletics community, Glesenkamp knew that Bob Klumpp was just the person to right the ship.
“One of the things that he brings to the table is he’s very dynamic,” Glesenkamp said. “He has that personality and he has that outward leadership.”
Klumpp, being a parent of former and current athletes at Hayes, has an appreciation for the responsibility families have in their athletes’ activities.
“I’ve always been supportive of boosters,” Klumpp said. “Whenever our kids were part of a sport and had a commitment to serve in terms of parent volunteers, I would do that and I enjoyed doing that.”
Thanks to the collective work of the board, the booster club is excelling in its goal: support athletics in any way possible. Assisted by fewer restrictions and a high level of connection, the boosters are now finding ways to financially support each program with improvements to away concessions and just recently purchased new weight equipment at Hayes, the booster club has flexed its muscles.
A focus for athletics at Hayes is connection; maintaining individualized success while staying in touch with other teams and activities to create a family. This mindset translates to the setup of athletic boosters.
“The way our model is set up, we have 26 programs, and each and every one of them has their own booster club,” Glesenkamp said. “If you think of a wheel with spokes, the Delaware Hayes Athletic Boosters are out the center of those spokes. As you go out, [each team] has their own individual booster clubs where they can raise money for their programs. I find that parents will work harder to raise money when it goes to their child’s teams.”
Part of that interconnectedness includes student representation. Senior Hannah Halstead and junior Molly Wells have spots on the board to provide students’ perspectives.
“[Our positions] allow students to have input on not only the sports but also the sports culture at our school,” Wells said. “We give a voice for those who have an idea to improve school pride when it comes to sports.”
While the Athletic Boosters have had success this year from collective efforts like improvements to away concessions, sports culture is perhaps the main contributor to the refreshed booster club. The return of Pacer fans in the stands has brought renewed energy and a sense of community around the school’s sports programs.
“I used to sit where the Entourage sits to watch a basketball game and watch my daughter cheer because nobody sat there,” Klumpp said. “Now, the Entourage goes so far up that we had to move. That’s exciting.”
Klumpp attributes much of the accomplishments to the community’s support. Not only in monetary gain, but with the heightened care for Pacer Athletics.
“I think once they got the green light to come back, it was like they never left,” Klumpp said. “And from my view looking at it, I think the spirits are even higher.”