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By Corey Costelloe
contributing writer 

Warrior Boosters receive city award

Xs and Arrows

 

February 4, 2023

Corey Costelloe.

Recently the Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce added the category of "Nonprofit of the Year" to their annual awards recognitions. It joins the existing categories, "Large and Small Business of the Year" and "Citizen of the Year." It was announced a few weeks ago that the Tehachapi Warriors Boosters Club will be the recipient of the inaugural nonprofit recognition due to our fundraising impact and philanthropy for Tehachapi High School athletics over the last few years.

Serving as President this past year and previously as vice president, it has been a process to get to this point. While the entire board of directors are very honored to be recognized for this award, there has been lots of growth over the last six years to get into a fiscally healthy position to assist in funding the needs of our student-athletes. There are plenty of "thank you" owed, that's for sure.

First, our Board of Directors, Vice President Tiffany Ledesma, Secretary Laura LaMonte, Treasurer Stacey Peel and Director Benny Gutierrez. This group has been instrumental in producing successful initiatives to bring this organization into its current state. None of this would have been possible without my predecessor Maria Curiel who helped revive this club in 2019 following a few years of instability. Maria not only got things back on the right track, but also stayed on during the COVID-19 pandemic to assist with keeping things rolling amidst season cancellations and uncertainty. Just because many teams did not play, it did not mean there were not bills to pay. She handled it perfectly and set us up for this success.

There are no initiatives from the Booster Club without funding, and I would like to thank all the local businesses that have jumped on board and continue to join the list of corporate partners each year. Their contributions are used to support all teams and a variety of funding requests, including post season awards, basic safety needs, equipment, uniforms, digital needs, scouting, facility upgrades and more. Since its inception in 2019, this program has generated over $100,000 for our Warrior teams.

Finally, there are the members, the people of this community who join our organization every year at a variety of levels to contribute to all those things listed above. They also purchase the coveted "Green Seats" for football games and hold them year after year to ensure the best seat in the house. Last year our membership interest was overwhelming and we are planning for an even bigger year in 2023-24.

Recently someone thanked us board members for our work, noting that none of us receive payment or a W2 for all the time we spend throughout the year supporting this nonprofit. I replied with the reality that our payment will be when our current student-athletes become contributing members of society. I would like nothing more than for one of them to be in my place 20 years from now. What we do is important for winning and losing in competition, but that's just a small part of the important role we play ... joining the coaches, staff and administrators who provide the important lessons of competition that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

As we stick to that mission and that goal, I am confident that this organization will only get better. Thanks to continued support from the community, our sponsors, parents and fans I believe we have only just started to make an impact. We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Tehachapi Unified School District, its staff and the board to improve our facilities and seek out additional funding for resources needed in today's modern interscholastic athletic reality. It takes more than the basics to compete in today's high school athletic world, and we will be prepared to meet that challenge.

Sometimes it has to get dark enough to see the stars, and we went through the darkness during a couple of bleak football seasons, low bank account balances and a pandemic-impacted 2020-21. But, thanks to people giving of themselves, their finances and some good old fashioned Tehachapi grit, we are thriving again.

Thank you all for your support of the Tehachapi Warriors Booster Club. More wonderful things to come as we continue to support your children and our Tehachapi Warriors. We may not agree on everything, but we can agree that the Warriors are our team, and when they compete for Tehachapi, they will both feel fully prepared and that the entire community has their back.

Corey Costelloe has covered NCAA, professional and local sports for more than 20 years as a reporter, broadcaster and athletics administrator. He advocates for the value of athletic competition and serves as the President of the Tehachapi Warriors Booster Club. He can be reached at corey.costelloe@gmail.com.

 
 

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