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The Athletic Association of Port Washington (AAPW) is working diligently with an ad hoc group of civic-minded community members to restore winter and spring sports programs at Weber Middle School and Schreiber High School. As reported in the Oct. 6 edition of the Port News, hundred of students will not have the opportunity to participate in intra school or interschool athletics without the financial support of the Port Washington community.

During the summer, the school administration in conjunction with the BOE was able to reallocate enough money to save the fall sports teams and intramural programs. The decision was made to allocate these limited funds entirely to the fall season to allow the community a sufficient amount of time to do its part to help our student-athletes.

As of Friday Oct. 21, approximately $17,500 has been raised, with additional pledges made of close to $12,000. Donations and pledges have ranged in size from $5 to $5,000. In order to fully restore the winter programs, a total of $72,000 is necessary, by Oct. 31. Unless the campaign succeeds, almost all sports will only offer a combined 7th/8th grade team. Middle school sports are important developmental building blocks for our students, with a historic emphasis on participation rather than excellence. Lost opportunities to play a sport will negatively affect both the health/physical fitness of our children, and damage our high school teams' competitiveness for the future. For some children, this may be their only chance to be involved on a school sports team.

Many other Long Island communities successfully raised substantial funds to help their own school sports programs. According to Newsday, Plainedge and Patchogue-Medford each raised $350,000 or more, followed by Smithtown, which raised close to $250,000. Hampton Bays, Islip, Mattituck, and Shoreham-Wading River all raised significant funds as well to support the dreams of student-athletes in the context of failed school budgets.

Tax-deductible donations in any amount would be greatly appreciated - time is of the essence. Please send checks or questions to: AAPW/Save Our Sports, PO Box 1555, Port Washington, NY 11050 and do not let budgetary politics disenfranchise the children of Port Washington. The AAPW would sincerely appreciate any assistance in this important fundraising initiative, either among residents or businesses.

Please note that proceeds from the Pride in Port raffle will also benefit the Save Our sports campaign so be as generous as possible on Friday Oct. 28. Logo
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