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Carthage Central to charge for sporting events

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GREAT BEND — Following approval from the Carthage Central School District Board of Education, the Carthage All-Sports Booster Club will be able to profit from ticket sales at major sporting events.

“We showed them how much the All-Sports Booster Club has actually given back to the district. Since 2010 ... they’ve given $55,000 back to community, back to the athletic department and back to the school itself,” said Brian K. Serota, booster club vice president.

The decision was made during a special meeting Friday. According to an agenda for the BOE meeting, the item of discussion was ticket takers. Mr. Serota said the booster club had requested the special meeting since district Athletic Director Stephen J. Nolan and club president Garry Schwartz were unable to attend the Sept. 23 regular meeting. At that time, the proposal to reinstate ticket takers at high school sporting events was debated but no vote was cast.

“We wanted more information from the booster club and athletic director,” explained Board of Education President Barbara A. Lofink. “The athletic director wasn’t there, Garry wasn’t there. Basically that’s why we left it.”

Beginning Oct. 4, Mr. Serota said, admission to varsity football, boys and girls basketball and lacrosse games will cost $1 per person. Admission will be free to students with valid student IDs, senior citizens and children under the age of five.

Since the proposal was accepted at the last minute, Mr. Serota said, the booster club elected not to take tickets at the homecoming game that evening. However, they accepted donations, which brought the club almost $4,000. Mr. Serota said the donations would purchase new uniforms for the boys and girls basketball teams.

“It’s not about us being money makers or hoarding,” he explained. “Just the things we’ve done this year — we bought stuff for the swim team, new timing clocks at the endzone — it was all purchased by the booster club ... it’s all stuff we’re being able to give back.”

According to Ms. Lofink, the cost to pay ticket takers will be covered by the booster club. Ticket takers are paid $40 per hour and must be teachers union members under union contracts. Ms. Lofink said the booster club agreed to reimburse the district $50 per hour for ticket takers. Previously the cost was split between the two groups.

Ms. Lofink and Mr. Serota acknowledged that most local schools charge $2 at their sporting events.

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