If you live in Grand County and you know anyone on the football team, or anyone whose kid is on the football team, it’s likely that over the last month, a teenage boy in a football jersey has come knocking on your door to ask you to buy a Red Devil Card. These $20 cards can get you discounts and free extras at many of the shops in Moab and some in Grand Junction, and they’re just one of the many ways Grand County high school students are raising money this year.
“There’s a lot of fundraising going on in football, that’s for sure,” said Grand County High School football coach Dennis Wells.
Football is one of the most expensive programs at GCHS, and while they do receive some money from the school, the majority has to be fundraised by the team itself.
“To put one football player in pads and everything, we figure it costs anywhere between $800 and $1000,” said Wells.
Even though being on the team is expensive, the players have many opportunities to earn the money, and they start early. The boys have a Lift-A-Thon every spring, where they ask friends, family, and community members for pledges on each pound that they can lift on the bench press. The money from the Lift-A-Thon goes towards paying for football camp during the summer.
The players also sell Red Devil Football apparel throughout the year. Players who sell 20 items earn a free sweat top.
“We’re trying to get the whole team motivated to get sweat tops so they all look alike,” said Wells.
The football team also partnered with the golf team for a golf tournament fundraiser. The entrance fee was $75 per person and $300 per team.
The tournament was started to provide a fun day to bond with friends while supporting the Red Devil teams.
“It’s a really fun tournament. We always have tons of prizes to give away,” Gail Wells said.
The girls’ soccer team has also been fundraising for their season. The team put on a bake sale this summer during the computer sale at the high school and made about $80. The team also earns money by handing out drinks to runners at the Other Half Marathon.
Other groups are also working to raise money, like GCHS’s student government. The theme of this year is “Be a Red Devil.” Each trimester this year has a theme: Be Bold, Be Involved, and Be Proud. The student officers have put together lots of fun activities and incentives to encourage school unity. To fundraise for these activities, T-shirts with the theme can be purchased at the High School office for $7.
Student government also held concessions at the season’s first home football game last Friday, as they do at sports events throughout the year.
“In the student government, money that we have is used to give back to the students,” said student government advisor Maralee Francis, “We use the money to buy all of the prizes and gifts (for incentives), and we also use it at homecoming to buy all the flowers for the royalty. We also use the money over the course of the year to honor every senior that we can in sports and activities.”
Student government also helps to authorize and organize fundraisers for the junior prom, senior trips, and graduation.
The students at Grand County High School aren’t alone when it comes to fundraising, though. The Grand County Education Foundation (GCEF) raises money to support educational programs in the district through fundraisers, grants, and money from donors.
The foundation holds two main events each year, the Adult Spelling Bee in November and a social in December.
“I think at the social we made somewhere on the order of $1000 and at the Adult Spelling Bee we made a little over $3000,” said GCEF Secretary Annie Larsen. “All of our funding goes to support projects proposed by educators who are working with children in Grand County. Our projects have funded the Grand County schools, including the Charter School, and organizations like the Museum of Moab who provide educational activities.”
The GCEF has also collaborated with the Moab Music Festival, the school district and sponsoring donors to help fund the salary for a music teacher in the district.
Paying for sports, events, and activities isn’t always easy, but Grand County students, teachers, coaches, and community members are doing their best to make fundraisers as much fun as the activities they sponsor.
“We’re this little town out here on our own and we have to make our own entertainment,” Larsen said. “Our fundraisers are the way that we make that happen.”