The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian


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Boosterpalooza 2023: music, fundraising, celebration

Event aims to support student activities and showcase student talents
Jillian Arnyai
Participants gathered around multiple food trucks at the event.

On Saturday, Sept. 9, the ETHS Booster Club hosted the annual Boosterpalooza at The Autobarn Nissan of Evanston. The event, which aimed to fundraise for various clubs, sports and students activities at ETHS, ran from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Local musicians, the ETHS Marching Band and many other performers added to the celebration.

The Boosterpalooza is the main fundraising event for the ETHS Booster Club, a parent-run organization that fundraises for students’ activities at ETHS.

“The purpose of Boosterpalooza is that it’s the singular and biggest fundraiser of the ETHS Booster Club,” said co-president Isabel Schultz. “80 percent of the funds raised by the club come from this event.”

Those funds then get allocated to ETHS sports, fine arts and student clubs. Every school year, more that $100,000 is donated in two allocation cycles, fall and spring. Coaches, teachers and sponsors can submit a request for money during either one of those cycles.

Superintendent Dr. Marcus Campbell, who was present at the celebration, highlighted the increased student participation numbers in activities around campus.

“Our student participation numbers in the fine arts, student activities and athletics keep going up,” said Campbell. “We have big visions for how we want to support students in those areas.”

Present at the Boosterpalooza was a variety of clubs and student organizations that were there to support the Booster Club and showcase their talents.

Alastair Keely-Walker, a sophomore, was representing the ETHS Chess Team at a booth they had set up. Participants had the opportunity to sit down and play a game of chess against one of the team members.

“[The goal] is to raise money for the chess team, since there’s some expenses that come with traveling to other schools to play tournaments and matches,” said Keely-Walker. “We try to invite as many parents as possible and also students to make donations and spend money here.”

Nate Massa, a Marching Band coach, directed students as they performed as part of the event. The ETHS Marching Band is one of the main recipients of the money garnered from Booster Club fundraising.

“We came to really show support for an organization that’s shown us so much support. They’ve done so much for us, so we want to show them exactly what everything that they’re doing for us is going towards,” said Massa.

For Massa, an important part of performing at the event is to display students’ talents for potential donors and to show specific items that the donations help purchase, such as the marching band tower present at the event.

“Being able to see how much passion and how much fun can be had and is had in the marching band; I would like to think that that increases the donations,” said Massa. “The experience that we’re giving is boosting the mood.”

For Schultz, a lot of the satisfaction that comes from being a board member of the ETHS Booster Club is supporting the smaller student clubs at the high school.

“Of course we support more mainstream activities like football and baseball and the marching band, but we really love and pride ourselves on supporting the smaller clubs and activities because there’s such a diverse array,” said Schultz. “We really try to support everyone and be equitable, and the [wide variety] of clubs and activities allows us to do so.”

That includes funding for the creation of new student clubs. One such example is the Natural Hair Club, which was created using Booster funds.

Schultz also stressed the immediate effect the fundraising has on student activities, as all money raised gets funneled immediately into the various allocations.

“You as students and your peers see the benefit from [fundraising] right away,” said Schultz. “So whatever extracurricular you’re involved with, you benefit right away, versus a longer term project that you might graduate and not benefit from.”

The other 20 percent of fundraising comes in part from selling ETHS spiritwear, yard signs and concessions at football games.

To organize a large event like the Boosterpalooza, much collaboration is needed on the part of Booster Club volunteers.

“There are hours and hours of time and energy that come all from volunteers to plan this huge event,” said Schultz. “It takes a village.”

For all the students and parents present at the Boosterpalooza, the wide range of activities on display, in combination with live music and other festivities, created an environment of celebration for ETHS.

“It’s a great party. Everybody loves a great party. But everybody loves a party with a purpose. Events like this celebrate our students, and when you celebrate our students you celebrate all of Evanston,” said Campbell.

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About the Contributors
Ethan Ravi
Ethan Ravi, News Editor
Hi! My name is Ethan Ravi (he/him). I’m a junior, and this year I’m the News Editor, as well as the Resident Food Critic. This is my third year on staff, previously I was the Assistant News Editor (sophomore year), and a staff writer (freshman year). I love writing for the Evanstonian because I get to work with our wonderful staff to tell important Evanston stories. Outside of the paper, I play tennis for the ETHS team, work at a local tennis shop, compete on the Math Team and participate in peer tutoring. In my free time, I enjoy reading, seeing friends and family, playing the piano and drinking coffee.
Frank Herman
Frank Herman, Social Chair
Howdy! I'm Frank Herman! As the Evanstonian's designated S103 coordinator, I'll always handle any questions, comments, or concerns you might have about our beloved backroom. I'm known in some circles for my strategic genius and will accept a challenge to any game. In my spare time, I'm the staff's resident history buff and Theodore Roosevelt enthusiast. I like a good conversation and a game of cards, and will always debate the intense social commentary of Louis Sachar's novel "Holes." Hope to meet you soon! <3
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