LINCOLN SQUARE — Amundsen High School families long have turned to Lincoln Square neighbors to support students, from throwing kids a pandemic-safe prom to helping young musicians get new instruments.
Now, another group of parents are rallying the community around the school’s student athletes, hoping to support coaches and pay for better equipment and uniforms.
The Amundsen Athletics Foundation is a spinoff from the more general Friends of Amundsen group. Elvia Heneghan, the group’s secretary, said parents wanted to launch a separate nonprofit for the school’s athletics after noting how coaches juggle multiple responsibilities while trying to guide their teams.
The foundation’s first fundraiser is noon Sunday at the Lincoln Tap Room, 3010 N. Lincoln Ave. Tickets are $30 in advance and can be bought here, or they are $40 at the door. Guests must be vaccinated against COVID-19. The first 50 people to register online get a custom pint glass.
The ticket includes drinks, food, a special-edition window cling and a bellydance performance by a group from Bellydance by Phaedra.
Last year, more than 300 students playing more than 27 sports had to share limited resources and funding, Heneghan said. Heneghan has a son on the football team and once saw the head coach scanning game tickets while getting his players ready to go out on the field.
“What we’re trying to do with this new group is get more people on board to support the school staff and students,” Heneghan said.
In addition to helping coaches with things like photography and social media, the group will fundraise to get students new team uniforms, equipment like batting cages, improved infrastructure like refinishing the basketball court and snacks for students during games.
The group members also plan to launch a scholarship program in February to help students beyond athletics, Heneghan said. The scholarship fund has $3,000, and the foundation members hope to grow that.
“We want to listen to the students and provide them with what they need,” Heneghan said. “Something like Gatorade at a game may be something small to you and me. But normally students just have water at games, so for someone to have Gatorade there for them is a huge deal for them.”
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