By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
For Rhonda Brattain, the process Friday, Feb. 28, served as a perfect microcosm.
Brattain is president of the McNary High School Athletic Booster Club (ABC), which was started during the 2011-12 school year in an effort to get more funding for athletics at MHS.
Things have been bumpy, including the need to make multiple repairs at the concession stand due to vandalism and a lack of funding to do desired projects.
In early 2012, boosters helped MHS athletic trainer Jill Pallin a bigger training room.
Last Friday, local contractor Steve Ajan came out to put up new shelving units in the training room.
After a web slide exercise rail system was successfully installed, Ajan went to work on putting in the necessary support hardware for a shelving unit along the exterior wall.
Around 3:30 p.m., Ajan and Brattain discovered the shelving unit couldn’t be installed as expected.
“Just like on Friday, we’ve hit roadblock after roadblock on this project,” Brattain said.
But like other times, perseverance was the name of the game. Ajan made boards he was using thinner and tried different bolts. By 7 p.m., the project was finally done.
“We’ve been paying Steve to do smaller jobs. After that, I don’t know if he’ll be willing to help us again,” Brattain said with a laugh. “It was a lot more intense than we were expecting.”
ABC held its first auction in 2012. Funds from that event are being used for projects such as the onein late February. This year’s auction is set for May 31, though this year’s event will be held at Mission Mill Museum in Salem since the Keizer Civic Center – the site of thelast year’s auction – is booked for that night.
Before that, ABC is hosting an opening house at MHS on March 20, the same night as parent-teacher conferences.
“Parents will be there already, so it’s a good time to have it,” Brattain said.
The club started as a way for parents to help the athletic programs at MHS. Following last year’s auction, club members bought items for all sports programs requesting items. A scholarship fund has also been established to help families in need.
Brattain credits current MHS principal John Honey and athletic director Ron Richards with giving Pallin her current space, a former classroom that is nearly triple the size of the old storage closet that served as a training room.
“I’m very thankful to Mr. Honey and Mr. Richards for allowing Jill to be in that room,” Brattain said. “If we hadn’t done anything else, it was just nice for Jill to have a sink to wash her hands in.”
While much has been done, Brattain is hoping parents of upcoming MHS athletes will be able to step up as well. There is some need coming up soon: club vice president Brian Lawrence will be stepping down soon since his son is set to graduate from MHS this spring. An election of a new vice president was expected to take place during the March 12 ABC meeting.
“We’ve really accomplished a lot since we’ve been doing this,” Brattain said. “We really want to continue that. We’re hoping to find parents of younger kids who want to be involved in the future of the club. We’re looking for more help with our booster club. We want to continue purchasing things each year, for each sport.”
People wishing to learn more about the ABC or wanting to donate items for the May 31 auction can contact Brattain at 503-510-8813. More information is also available at mcnaryabc.com.