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November 19, 2008 > Saving night soccer

Saving night soccer

Submitted By Nina Moore

The Fremont Education Foundation (FEF) announced at the November 12th school board meeting that it would contribute $15,000 toward the $24,000 needed to reinstate night soccer games at Tak for this season. This announcement came immediately prior to the School Board's consideration of a request to reverse its prior cut of night soccer games.

As background, the Fremont Unified School District was forced to make $9 million in budget cuts this year, prior to final approval of the State budget. Although the final approved State budget reduced cuts to education, many were still needed and some programs such as secondary counselors and secondary transportation were left intact for the current year but left as potential cuts for next year. Other cost-saving measures such as increasing secondary level class size were not so lucky. One of the smaller cuts made from the onset was to eliminate night soccer games at TAK for a savings of $24K.

At the time the school board approved the proposed cuts to soccer it was believed that there were viable alternatives. It has since become evident that there are not, upsetting soccer parents and coaches who felt that soccer was unfairly penalized since football, which was not cut, also uses Tak at night. At its November 12th meeting, the school board was asked to consider reinstating night soccer despite the possibility of an additional $10 million cut to local education in next year's budget.

FEF is happy to announce that it will donate $15,000 toward the $24,000 needed. Founded in 1991 during a time of severe state budget cuts, FEF helped replace funding for programs that were cut. This is a perfect example of programs the Foundation was originally created to support. When announcing the donation, FEF president Sherea Westra asked for additional donations from the community to make up the remaining $9,000 needed.

Foundation Vice President of the Guy Emanuele Sports Fund, Dave Bonaccorsi, stated "Fremont Education Foundation (FEF)'s Guy Emanuele Sports Fund was founded by former FUSD Board member Guy Emanuele so as to ensure that students are not prevented from participating in after-school sports due to financial hardship. In keeping with Mr. Emanuele's vision, I am proud that the Guy Emanuele Sports Fund will donate $10,000 to help FUSD preserve nighttime MVAL soccer at Tak Fudenna for the 2008-09 Season in the face of these tough economic times." The remaining $5,000 will come from discretionary funds set aside by the Foundation to cover unusual one-time needs.

Although the school board voted to allocate up to $9,000 to cover the shortfall needed for this year, board members reiterated the request for the public to step up to cover this balance given the huge cuts looming for next year. An additional $1,300 was donated to FEF at the meeting, leaving $7,700 to be funded.

If you are interested in helping to fund night soccer games at TAK this season, please send your donation to FEF. Checks should be made payable to Fremont Education Foundation, 39120 Argonaut Way, #381 Fremont, CA 94538-1304 earmarked 'night soccer' on the memo line. FEF will augment its initial donation of $15,000 to FUSD with all funds earmarked for this event. For more information about the foundation, visit: www.fremont-education.org.

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