Opinion

Let boosters run concessions

The Clover Optimists have been good stewards of the concession stands at Clover High School ball fields for more than half a century. Nonethe-less, the Clover Athletic Booster Club makes a good case for its taking over the concessions.

Since the 1950s, the Optimists have worked the concession stands to raise money for the school and local charities, many of which aid children in the community. Volunteers do all the work, and all the money raised goes back to the community.

But for the second time in recent years, members of the Athletic Boosters Club have lobbied the school board to allow them to take over the home side concessions. The boosters now operate only the visitor's side concessions.

Spokesmen for the Booster Club, speaking at Monday's school board meeting, said allowing Boosters to run the concessions would bring in more money for school athletic programs.

The Optimists return only 45 percent of the proceeds to the school. The rest is distributed to programs such as Special Olympics, Palmetto Boys' State, youth softball and charities such as the Clover Care Center and God's Kitchen.

That no doubt is a worthy use of the money. But this is the only school district in the county that allows an outside organization run its concessions instead of the local booster club. Clover boosters think it may be the only district in the state that does so.

Some undoubtedly would say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." But boosters make the point that, just because that is the way it has been done for 50 years is not reason enough to keep doing it that way.

The most compelling argument in favor of the Booster Club, it seems to us, is that money raised at school functions ought to benefit the school. The extra money could be used to defray tournament costs, travel expenses and equipment purchases the school district doesn't cover.

The Booster Club asked the board once before in 2002 to change the concessions policy, but the board sided with the Optimists, citing the long history of service to the community. The board took no action at Monday night's meeting but it make take another look at the issue next month.

Again, we would not disparage the work of the Optimists in any way. But, despite a 50-year custom, we think the Booster Club should control concessions and the proceeds should go to the school.

IN SUMMARY

Clover Athletic Booster Club wants to take over running of concessions from Optimists.

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