By Ivan Raconteur
The Lester Prairie Bulldog Booster Club has been finding ways to support and encourage fine arts and extracurricular activities in Lester Prairie since 1994.
With the help of local businesses and the community, the non-profit group improves opportunities for students who participate in a variety of activities, including sports, drama, and music.
It has donated nearly $80,000 to Lester Prairie athletics and art programs.
The group also enthusiastically promotes school spirit and Bulldog pride through the sale of Bulldog merchandise, as well as through supporting events such as the annual homecoming parade, “fill the gym” and “pack the sidelines” events. team meals, and events at the school.
The booster club also keeps the banners in the school gym updated and has sponsored a message board to promote school events.
Among the group’s recent purchases are a share of the 10-foot-by-20-foot mat for the main entrance of the school, and a ceiling fan and treadmill for the weight room.
The group provided funds for pep band T-shirts, National Honor Society T-shirts, and knowledge bowl sweatshirts. It also provided novelty items for each of the Lester Prairie sports teams.
Last year, the booster club helped to fund tickets and bus transportation for the eighth grade class to attend “The Diary of Anne Frank,” for the eleventh grade to attend Festival of Nations Day, and for the physics class to attend Physics Day at the Dome.
The group also helps to sponsor summer open gym, youth football, girls softball, and the school’s fifth grade DARE program.
Previous purchases have included a cookie oven, football-throwing machine, athletic equipment, supplies for the drama department, lockers, scoreboards, banners, and a digital camera.
The Bulldog Booster Club sponsors the school geography bee, spelling bee, and the elementary school grandparents day.
The booster club has helped other organizations by helping to support football and baseball clinics, and basketball and volleyball camps.
The group funds these projects through an annual golf tournament, selling concessions at certain athletic events, and the sale of Bulldog apparel.
The group organizes spring and fall clean-up days at the school, and helps the football and basketball teams with salt sales.
The group currently has more than 90 members.
Dues are $20 per family and $35 per business.
The group meets at 6:30 p.m. the first Wednesday each month at the school. Everyone is welcome to attend.
More information is available by calling Rollie Radtke at (320) 395-2913 or Eric Gustafson at (612) 481-2016.
Bulldog apparel can be viewed on the school web site, www.lp.k12.mn.us. Anyone interested in purchasing apparel may call Christine Dammann at (320) 395-2858.
Officers for 2009-10 include: chairman Rollie Radtke, vice-chairman Eric Gustafson, secretary Chris Bayerl, treasurer Kim Radtke, apparel board member Christine Dammann, membership board member Chris Rolf, and golf tournament board member Sheila Jilek.
Outgoing officers from 2008-09 include Barb Kegler, Kelli Machemehl, and Jill Fiecke.