November 1, 2022
After a successful 2021 fundraising campaign, the Jr. Eagles Football teams returned to the field equipped with new helmets and pants for the 2022 season. This achievement was possible because of sponsors and community support. All sponsors are recognized at www.connelljunioreagles.com.
The Connell Junior Eagles recently completed their 2022 football season, and are once again seeking support for the 2023 season. Organizers stated, the program was "in good shape this year thanks to all the contributions of our great community" from volunteer parents, coaches, and more.
With their new website, this ignited thoughts of new approaches to youth sports that the Connell Jr. Eagles hope to make a reality. The league in which they play football and cheer requires online registration and grade verification. Other local youth sports have adopted other registration programs aw well, and some maintain paperwork forms. Regardless, parents struggle to find communication or know when registrations are open. Which led to the idea of combining efforts onto one registration site with an app to maintain practice and game schedules and team communications. From the person experience of Connell Jr Eagle board members, often when it comes to youth sports, there is a sole volunteer that is running the organization, or a group/board that is made up of familiar faces across multiple sports. This led to the idea, "Why not consolidate and work together as one?" One board, along with many proactive and active parents and volunteers to drive programs. Specifically, to include parent groups from the elementary schools in our area.
This led to the idea of developing a structure of needs for each sport and organization guides that would pass from volunteer to volunteer year after year.
Funding is always an issue and with the 501c3 designation there are now tax benefits for those who want to support local youth sports in our area.
The Connell Jr. Eagles board took these ideas into consideration and reached out to other youth programs to discuss interest in this new venture. An idea a bit, outside the box, from the normal approach. The vision moving forward is that as an organization, Connell Jr. Eagles, will expand to include additional interested programs and hopefully expand the volunteer pool. Each program will still maintain its "persons in charge" to continue to operate. The Connell Jr Eagles Board will work with those persons to assist in organizing the needs of the program. Each program will have its own accounts and access to funding. If baseball needs bats, they go buy bats. Receipts must be kept for accountability.
Moving into the 2022-23 season the discussion led to results as the boys and girls basketball league coordinated by Stacy Kniveton and the North Franklin Babe Ruth Softball and Baseball League will now be included in the Connell Jr Eagles offerings. Junior Eagles Basketball is also joining the collaboration. Organizers expressed, "This is an exciting to time to see just how much we can get done to make this not only a success but continually improve each program for our youth. To accomplish these goals, we will ask our community again to help sponsor our goals for each of these programs. We hope more programs will continue to join."
Connell Junior Eagles, now an official 501c3, will allow for tax deductible donations. Connell Junior Eagles projects an operating budget of nearly $50,000 for the current programs. Football alone, projects an average cost of $21,000. Sponsorship's can be given to a specific program or to the organization.
Projects include Jr. Eagles football, Jr Eagles Cheer, basketball (for both boys and girls), N. Franklin Babe Ruth Softball and Baseball leagues. The joining together of these individual programs provides combined efforts in fundraising, volunteers, and more.
Time is a continued investment. If anyone wishes to help volunteer time to assist in this goal at any capacity, please reach out to Steve Tomren at 509-521-1580. "The goal is ambitious, but we believe it could be very beneficial. Many of the volunteers in recent years have moved on with older kids no longer in the youth programs. We need more parents of younger kids to step up and get involved," the board shared.
Financial donations can be made to Connell Jr. Eagles PO Box 805 Connell, WA 99326
You can find out more at: www.connelljunioreagles.com