Elanco recognizes sports boosters
BY PATRICK BURNS, Correspondent
Les Fisher and Jim Groff are booster beasts at Garden Spot High School.
The Eastern Lancaster County School Board recently expressed gratitude to the men for their work with sports booster programs: Groff, for baseball and lacrosse, and Fisher for his efforts with the basketball program.
Fisher, who received a proclamation at the Jan. 28 school board meeting was responsible for 14 of the 19 advertising banners purchased for the basketball program. Robert Hollister, school district superintendent, said Fisher insisted that all Garden Spot booster programs share a cut of the proceeds.
Fisher accounted for $13,500 of the total $17,700 sales of which half goes to the district and half goes to Garden Spot's booster program. Hollister said the banner program got off to a slow start when launched last year but Fisher has helped turned that around.
"Les was the driving force behind making this year much more successful," Hollister said Feb. 1.
Groff received permission from the board in December to continue upgrades to the baseball field. Groff has found donations and offered his own time and financial support to replace the traditional playground fence backstop with a 30-foot-high net that will be moved back 12 feet.
"McCaskey High School has a similar net," Groff said. "Life expectancy of such a net -- with taking it down at the end of each season --would be about 10 years."
Groff also announced plans to move the scoreboard about 100 feet toward the center of the field and proposed the construction of a press box platform built over an existing warm-up area.
Musselman Lumber in New Holland has drafted plans for the deck which would provide space for a scorekeeper and an announcer, Groff said.
Hollister said the board would officially recognize Groff as the baseball season opens.
"He is the driving force behind getting upgrades done to the field at no cost to the district," Hollister said. "He is doing something similar for the lacrosse field. Another good guy, helping a lot of kids.
Board members Jonathan Boyd, Glenn Hartz, Paul Irvin, Rodney Jones, Melissa Readman, Thomas Wentzel, Glenn Yoder, Jennifer Zeiset and Heidi Zimmerman expressed their appreciation for the efforts of Groff and Fisher at the December and January board meetings.
In other news, Hollister praised the role of New Holland Police Department and Pennsylvania State Police at intruder-alert drills held in January at all of the district's schools. The drills included no fewer than seven officers involved in exercises at each school.
Hollister described the event as a "success" noting that children at Blue Ball Elementary School averted detection while hiding from a mock intruder.
"The police felt that we had done a nice job preparing teachers and students for the drill," Hollister said. "We have been conducting them for years, this is the first time that they were invited to offer their assessment and tour the buildings during the drill.
Also at the school board meeting, a Garden Spot High School student from Brecknock offered a prayer during the public comment portion of the meeting. It has become a regular practice for a district resident or student to offer a prayer during the public comment period since the board dropped pre-meeting prayer in October.
The board halted their prayers in reaction to the threat of a lawsuit by Freedom From Religion Foundation in Wisconsin. The group contended that the board's prayer tradition violated the establishment clause of the U.S. Constitution which bars governments from endorsing or prohibiting the practice of religion.
The school board continues to observe a moment of silence prior to each meeting.
Additionally at the meeting, the board honored two Garden Spot High School Students of the Month for December as the Pursuit of Excellence Award winners. The students are Sara Beaver of Blue Ball, daughter of Doug and Kelli Beaver; and Benjamin Weaver of New Holland, son of Curt and Angela Weaver.