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Posted on Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 5:40 a.m.

Pioneer Athletic Boosters holding annual gala as district budget cuts loom

By Kyle Austin


Boys basketball is one of 25 MHSAA varsity sports offered at Pioneer.

Joseph Tobianski |

It’s an important event every year, but maybe never more so than this one.

The Pioneer Athletic Booster Club is holding its annual Hall of Fame dinner Friday night at Weber’s Inn. The event is the group’s biggest fundraising event of the year.

This year’s event comes with the school’s future athletic funding in question. In December, AAPS said it is considering cutting $1 million from the its $3 million athletic budget. The past two years has already seen $1 million cut from the district’s athletic budget.

If instituted, the cuts could result in fewer sports being offered or higher pay-to-play fees. Ann Arbor Public Schools currently charges $150 to play one sport and $75 for each additional sport.

Pay-to-play fees are one of the costs the Pioneer Athletic Booster Club currently offsets by providing scholarships. Booster club funds can also go toward various other athletic costs, including transportation or equipment.

Booster club member Maureen Frost, who has daughters on the ice hockey and field hockey teams, said money raised helps lower the cost for families.

“There’s more demand from the teams to raise money, so it’s either parents paying it or you’re going out and doing fundraising,” Frost said.

In the absence of district funds and booster club funds, athletes are often required to solicit donations from businesses -- and often have to ask for money from the same ones again and again.

“You feel bad, going back and constantly asking them for more money and more sponsorships,” Frost said.

Tickets to the event’s gala and silent auction can be purchased at the door for $40 per person or $75 per couple. The silent auction features gift baskets donated by every school athletic team.

The 2013 Pioneer Athletics Hall of Fame class, including Don Davis, Don Dohoney, Richard “Chip” Hadler, Shannon Hamel, Kim McKenzie-Eagle and Betsy Petoskey will also be honored.



Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 12:54 a.m.

I was told that to do ice skating varsity it is a lot more then what they are quoting here. As for Pioneer Booster help? Go to GFS and use your Fun Fund card. I do once a month. Especially at Halloween. Lots of candy for little scary darlings that come to the door. Pay for play has been around for about 2 years. Since they saved Balas and privatized the bus drivers and monitors.


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 12:42 p.m.

Will the district EVER admit that building Skyline was a mistake? Of course not! But at least try and fix the problems it created. Why not have students at Skyline continue to attend, as the do at the other alternative schools and just go back to to the TWO high school boundaries for athletics. That way you can save a third of your athletic budget and stop from having to cut to a bare bones product. No transportation, raising pay to pay to play, cutting teams and programs would all be avoided by doing this.

say it plain

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

yes, why not keep the two boundaries for athletics and then also create more of a real 'alternative' at Skyline, you know, in the area of *education* instead of athletics?