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10/16/2013 2:00:00 PM
Parent Raises Concern About Booster Spending
By Kathy Onorato

At its next meeting, the Wiscasset High School All-Sports Boosters will hear concerns from a parent about the possible mishandling of funds by one of the club's members.

In a letter to Wiscasset High School Principal Deb Taylor, parent Lisa Marr writes, "I have seen this person get into the booster money to go out to eat with (sic)."

Marr also says when she purchased items from the boosters, she was told to make the check out to the individual, rather than to the boosters.

Because the group is governed by its own officers Taylor told Marr she should take her concerns directly to the boosters at the club's next meeting, which Marr has said she will do. The boosters have not scheduled a next meeting.

According to Taylor, the all-parent volunteer booster club is not considered part of the school, is not controlled by school administrators, and the group does not need to account its income and expenses to school officials.

"To this point nothing has been substantiated," Taylor said. "It's a good idea for boosters to improve accounting practices to protect our dedicated parent volunteers from allegations of mismanagement. Its about perception and credibility," she said.

The booster's treasurer, Molly Barnes, agrees the boosters need to improve the way the finances are handled. Barnes said that creating a logging system, verified by more than one person would create better management.

Taylor said over the years it has been difficult to work with the boosters because there are no guidelines that govern the organization. It is difficult to know what is the role or obligation of the school and its administrators. Taylor would like to see a district-wide policy that would set some guidelines about fundraising to benefit students. She has made this suggestion to RSU 12 Superintendent Howard Tuttle.

The boosters sell concessions and team wear to raise money to benefit student athletes. The money raised through boosters has been used to buy concussion headbands, support homecoming expenses, sportsmanship awards, and other items as needed.

"The boosters volunteer an amazing amount of hours," Taylor said.

Sarah Ricker, the school's assistant principal and athletic director, who works closely with the boosters, said she sees a need for more parental involvement in the club.

"It is a very small group due to lack of parental involvement/volunteers, but we work very hard to support the kids and the athletic program," Barnes said.

The group's officers include Anne Kinney, president; Heidi and Danny Grover, co-vice presidents; Molly Barnes, treasurer; and Stacey Souza, secretary.

Ricker has also suggested the following agenda items for the booster's next meeting: changes in the swim team; wrestling club; concessions at basketball games; Facebook fan page or school website page; MVC championships at Hall-Dale on Oct. 24 and recognition of the golf team.

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