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September 23, 2020
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Sportsmanship, community, lifelong fitness

By: Cassandra May Albaugh
February 7, 2020

That’s the theme being used for “The First Annual Rohnert Park Sports Expo Fundraiser.” The event will occur on Feb. 29 from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. at the Theater Arts Gymnasium (TAG) Building located on the campus of Rancho Cotate High School at 5450 Snyder Lane in Rohnert Park. The fundraiser however isn’t for the high school, rather monies raised will go to support the sports programs at Lawrence E. Jones and Technology Middle Schools. The events that day will be basketball, volleyball and a 5K run/walk. 

Why a fundraiser for middle school sports? According to Tressa Bronner, Athletic Director and PE Teacher at Technology Middle School, in the early 2000s the school district stopped funding sports at the middle schools. To keep extracurricular sports programs alive, both middle schools have conducted fundraising activities individually and collectively. Currently both schools have basketball, volleyball, soccer, cross country, track & field, and wrestling programs. Tech Middle School also supports a flag football program.

According to Bronner and Mary Niederberger, a Special Ed Teacher and coach at Tech Middle School, this fundraising event was conceived a few years ago. However, it took a grant from the City of Rohnert Park Foundation, which provided seed money for planning and preparation, that allowed the concept to move towards execution this year. The registration fees and any donations will go to Tech Middle PTSA which is a 501(c)(3) Charitable Non-Profit which is a funding vehicle for both schools and allows all donations to be fully tax deductible. 

You can register in advance online at: https://www.techmiddleptsa.com/s/shop or on the day of the event. You can also use the flyer being distributed by scanning the Quick Response (QR) Code. You may also mail the registration form on the back of the flyer to Technology Middle School PTSA at 7165 Burton Avenue, Rohnert Park, CA 94928. Finally, a completed form can be dropped off at the offices of both Lawrence Jones and Tech Middle Schools. Registration fees must accompany the forms. Your registration includes a BBQ Lunch that starts at 11:30 p.m. and consists of hot dogs, chips and a drink.

The 5K Run/Walk is an all ages event. It’s stroller friendly. Registration on-site starts at 8:45 a.m. and this event starts at 9:20 a.m. The cost to participate is just $5 for under 18 youth and $10 for adults. Cross Country team members will be present to facilitate and guide participants for this event.

For the team events of basketball and volleyball, there are three age groups and two competition levels. Teams will consist of 6-8 members who must wear matching shirts. The teams will indicate which middle school they are supporting and then be placed in tournament style brackets, based on age group and competition level of the team. Age groups are “Middle School,” “High School” and “Adult.” You can select either a “Let’s Go,” which is competitive, or a “Just for Fun” level. The volleyball games start at 9:45 a.m. and the basketball games commence at 11:15 a.m. For the middle school and high school teams the registration fee is $24 per team. It doubles for the adult teams to $48.

So, did you or your kids go to Lawrence Jones or Tech Middle School? Want to support your alma mater? Or are you just sports minded and want to get those competitive juices flowing once more? Well here’s your chance. Recruit your team and come support this worthy event. And don’t worry if you’re not up to competing in basketball or volleyball. Do the 5K or just show up and cheer for your families, friends and neighbors. As Bronner said “This event is all about the community coming together and having fun.” You can help support our youth learn sportsmanship and instill habits of lifelong fitness. Perhaps we can turn this expo into an annual event and another tradition for Rohnert Park and Cotati.