By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
McNary High School’s Athletic Booster Club (ABC) has another big project in the offing this summer: a renovation of the school’s gym.
The project includes repainting all three levels of the gymnasium and refinishing the main gym’s floor to include a McNary “M” logo.
The final cost of the project is expected to be somewhere between $25,000 and $32,000, and is set to begin in June.
McNary’s ABC is kicking in $20,000 toward the overall cost of the renovation, and it means the group’s upcoming dinner and auction is all the more important.
This year’s benefit is slated June 4 at the Log House Garden at Willow Lake, 5655 Windsor Island Road N., in Keizer. Tickets are $35 per person, $360 for a reserved table for eight or $500 for a sponsored table. Tickets can be purchased at mcnaryabc.com. The event begins with a social hour at 4:30 p.m., and tickets include dinner and a bidder paddle for silent and oral auctions.
Danielle Bethell, ABC president, said the gym renovation project came about largely as a result of the successful turf project.
“We developed a great relationship with Salem-Keizer School District through that project, but we also realized that the outside of the school had been getting most of the attention,” Bethell said. “We approached the school district with a proposal for the gym and were able to make it part of the annual floor refinishing that would be happening anyway.”
The project is expected to take about six to eight weeks to complete after the work begins.
The dinner and auction, which is celebrating the golden anniversary of McNary athletics, will include a “raise-the-paddle” session to fundraise specifically for the gym project.
Other highlights this year are “Golden Tickets” that will be sold only at the auction. Fifty tickets will be sold for $50 each and the winner will get to choose any of the oral auction packages to take home before it goes on the block.
Bethell said the gym renovation and planned dugouts for the varsity softball field are the last large projects on the horizon for the group. Once those are in the rearview, Bethell wants to see the ABC’s fundraising efforts set to work on wish lists for individual programs.
“We don’t hear a lot from wrestling or tennis and those are programs we’d like to be able to support,” Bethell said.
In the past year, Bethell said the ABC saw the boys golf program engage in a big way. It resulted in new rainsuits, golf balls, and a driving range tracker for the team.
The ABC also chipped in to help cover the costs of a substitute teacher for Rick Ward, the team’s head coach. While golf is an OSAA-sanctioned sport, the associated costs are not covered by the school, meaning the program must come up with the money to cover the cost of a substitute when Ward isn’t in the classroom.