Fundraising may be enough

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Uncertain times may not be so scary for Niles High School's athletic programs.
With budget cuts threatening athletic programs statewide, the operating budget at Niles may not be in too much trouble thanks, in part, to some diligent fundraising efforts.
Along with the school's operating budget for the Athletic Department, Niles athletes benefit every year from funds raised by themselves, the department and the Niles Athletic Booster Club.
Niles Athletic Director Laurie Ryan is expecting a cut in her budget for the upcoming school year, but she doesn't expect it to have a drastic impact on the athletes.
With that amount of funding already coming from sources other than the school's allocated budget for athletics, the looming budget cuts aren't as large a threat as they might be for other schools.
Ryan's top priority is to not cut any programs, any athletes or any coaches. She feels she can do that by cutting expenses in other areas and benefitting from fundraisers.
The Boosters recently raised $13,000 at a single event, the highest amount they've ever raised at one event. That money, after taxes, will be dispersed to the various athletic teams based on their needs.
Another fundraiser which gives Niles athletics a boost is the Worm Burner Open, a golf outing which will be held this year on Monday, June 16, at Orchard Hills Country Club. This event raised nearly $11,000 last year which was put back into the athletic programs.
Individual teams also hold fundraisers throughout the year to meet their own needs.
Niles athletes will still be able to afford new uniforms if they're needed and new safety equipment that is a necessity.
Some changes will be necessary, but athletics will still thrive at Niles thanks to the fundraising efforts of the athletic department, the Boosters, athletes and other donors.

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