The Bearcat Booster Club is a group of local Glen Ullin – Hebron citizens, mostly comprised of parents of student athletes, that assist in promoting Bearcat athletic programs within their schools. The mission of the booster club is to fundraise in order to help with gear, equipment, training, camps and events that the athletes go to. The club has also helped to boost the Bearcar sport’s programs in such a way that they provide entertainment to the entire community. Travis Thomas current president and active member of the Bearcat Booster Club states, “We are labeled as the Bearcat co-op. We have Glen Ullin and Hebron as our two towns that participate in bearcat sports.” The co-oped Bearcat athletic programs including boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball, volleyball and track.
Through fundraising and donations from the local community, including Dakota Community Bank & Trust (DCB&T), the booster club has been able to provide many of the extra necessities that these student athletes need to succeed. With the goal to help make their athletes better, the booster club was able to help purchase shooting machines in 2018 to help their student athletes practice basketball and volleyball. The club helped purchased four machines – two volleyball and two basketball resulting in one of each type for both schools. The basketball machines help to return the ball quickly to the athlete(s) so that there is not any wasted down-time chasing stray balls around the gymnasium allowing better focus and repetition. Similarly, the volleyball machines can be set up in a way to allow the volleyball to be bumped, set, or spiked by the receiving athlete(s).
DCB&T sponsorships have helped provide team meals for regional tournaments, as well as shirts and water bottles for various camps, and Bearcat Buddy night. Thomas states that at the Bearcat Buddy Night the elementary students are invited to participate in drills with varsity basketball teams. Then, two elementary students are selected as Bearcat buddies to help at the varsity basketball game. This acts as a catalyst for interest and engagement into sports for the younger students within the community as they get to interact with the older athletes. “It really shows that you are not just a bank, but that you really care. You put your time and effort into the community and it is a great showing of generosity and support,” mentions Thomas of DCB&T.
The Bearcat Booster Club has not only helped to boost the athletes’ abilities but also their pride in their athletic program. The booster club is always looking for new ideas and new people to join. Thomas wants to make it known that one doesn’t need to have an active student athlete to join the club. He states to simply contact the school or talk to a booster club member to get involved or donate.
Written by Lindsey Hefta, Marketing Director