Alumni game benefits Owen athletics

Fred McCormick

Though the competition was intense, the final scores of the Owen Athletic Booster Club Alumni Basketball Games on Saturday were less important than the games itself. The annual event is a vital part of the club's strategy for raising money to help athletics at the school.

For the record, the men's game was won 57-56 by the white team on the strength of a final-seconds basket by Jesse Gardner on an assist from Michael Pomeroy. The women's game resulted in a 42-34 win for the maroon.

The event, which brought nearly 50 former students together for the men's and women's games, began in 2013 as an effort by the booster club to help support the school's basketball teams. Participation has grown each year. This year's games raised $2,452, but the money reflects only a small portion of the work done by the club to supplement all sports at the school, according to president Roger Brown.

"Generally we try to raise money to offset the cost of athletics," he said. "Athletics at high schools in Buncombe County are not supported by tax dollars, so they have to be self-sustaining."

Work by the booster club bridges the funding gap between the school's athletic budget and the money needed to field 19 teams in various sports throughout each school year. Football and basketball games generate some revenue for sports programs but not enough to support all of the school's athletics teams.

"Every team has five or six items on their wish-list," Brown said. "We bought basketballs for the basketball team this year because you can't play basketball without them."

During his five years as the president of the booster club, the organization has provided uniforms for multiple teams, Brown said. It constantlysearches for ways to raise money. Revenue from the alumni basketball game has contributes to the basketball programs. Similar baseball and softball games in the spring raise money for those programs.

Help them out

Learn more about Owen Athletics Booster Club by calling 713-7871.