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Fort Edward rallies to save sports, extracurriculars during contingency year

Mark Mulholland
Updated: September 10, 2020 07:53 PM
Created: September 10, 2020 05:53 PM

FORT EDWARD - They take their sports seriously here.

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The trophy cases are filled at the Jr.-Sr. high school, but this year, the coffers are empty.

When voters rejected the proposed school budget for the second time, it meant the school had to adopt a contingency spending plan, which resulted in a $400,000 reduction in staffing, programming, and extracurriculars.

"We are losing anything that happens after the school hours, so after 3:00, there's nothing going to be available for our students," said Jeff Tully, a 5th grade teacher and the varsity football coach.

The contingency budget means no volleyball or softball for senior Moriah Normandin.

"It's just really upsetting because it's my senior year," she said Thursday.

Those gathered on the school lawn Thursday and dozens of others in the community aren't giving up.  

"We all came together and just started planning," said Maggie Torra, a 1997 grad and mother of two current Fort Edward students. "What can we do to raise money for these kids?"

The Fort Edward Booster Club is taking the lead on fundraisers - mask and shirt sales, bottle and can returns, and this Sunday, a big basket raffle at the Canal Street Marketplace.

The parents and students are well aware that raising $400,000 for a small community isn't going to be easy.

They say it will cost $125,000 to fully fund sports, and they're hopeful they can do it.

"These kids aren't the reason why the school's in this situation," Tully said. "They don't get to vote. They didn't vote on this and kids deserve the opportunity as every other student does in this whole area."

Normandin and other students are optimistic that they'll be on the courts and fields this year. "I think we will find a way to make it happen because a lot of the people in this town, they really do care."


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