Walmart helps Johnstown fundraising efforts

Greater Johnstown School District Athletic Director Mike Satterlee and Sir Bills' three-sport athlete Noah Massey accept a donation of $5,000 from store manager Justin Orlando on behalf of Walmart on Thursday at the Gloversville Walmart. Taking part in the presentation are, from left, Amanda Nellis, Shelley Hoyt, Satterlee, Massey, Orlando and Johnstown field hockey coach Christine Krempa. (The Leader-Herald/James A. Ellis)

JOHNSTOWN –The Johnstown Purple and Gold Booster Club got another big boost in its fundraising efforts for the Johnstown Sir Bills and Lady Bills sports programs.

Gloversville Walmart Supercenter No. 1806 store manager Justin Orlando presented Walmart employee and three-sport Johnstown athlete Noah Massey and Johnstown Athletic Director Mike Satterlee with a $5,000 donation Thursday.

“We heard the need for the school when it came to the academics and sports program and we had a three-sport athlete here in Noah,” Orlando said. “We had them apply for the grant and we wanted to keep the money in our community. They upped our donation amount this year and once we heard about the need we stepped in and cut the check as soon as we could. We wanted to do what we can in our community.”

Orlando was a three-sport athlete himself at Wells Central School.

“Playing sports was my favorite part of high school and the fact that they might take it from somebody is not a good deal,” he said.

The Purple and Gold Club had raised $161,080 of its $311,000 goal as of Wednesday.

“I knew the community would step up,” Johnstown field hockey coach Christine Krempa said. “I was not surprised by the people from Johnstown, but that surrounding school districts have done something for us. That kind of took us aback. Other coaches may be our rivals but they don’t want to see anybody lose programs.”

On May 18 voters approved the Greater Johnstown School District’s $37.8 million 2019-20 budget that included $200,000 for transportation for athletics but not support for the districts sports teams.

If the school’s athletes want to compete in the upcoming school year, they need to raise the $311,890 that was among the cuts made from the originally proposed budget that was voted down on May 21.

On June 20 with the support of the district’s Purple and Gold Sports Booster Club and coaches, the Sir Bills and Lady Bills kicked off the fundraising campaign with the 1,000 Citizens to Save Our Sports event in the Johnstown High School auditorium.

The effort resulted in the group raising $94,850.75 in pledges in a span of two hours and the fundraising efforts continued with a GoFundMe Page on Facebook.

“A big thank you to Walmart. We are totally appreciative of the support of a big corporation in our community that is supporting our kids,” Krempa said. “This week was definitely a big week for us. ADK field hockey did a big tournament at UAlbany and they donated their registration fees and we did raffles and a concession stand.”

The Purple and Gold Club has scheduled another fundraiser for Aug. 24 called Rock Out for Sports. The event which will be held at the Fox Run Golf Club will feature five or more bands, along with raffles and food vendors.

The fundraiser will run from noon to 5 p.m. with an admission fee of $10 and $5 for children under 12.

The Greater Johnstown School District has student athletes competing on more than 50 teams in more than 20 different sports. Approximately 60 percent of the enrollment participates in sports during the school year with about 40 percent participating in two or more sports.

COMMENTS