ELBERTA - The Town of Elberta voted unanimously to donate $25,000 to Elberta High School with the knowledge the donation will be matched by the Snook Foundation, giving the high school funding for much needed amenities.
“We received a letter early on from Athletic Director Greg Seibert that the sports department was offered $50,000 in matching funds from the Snook Foundation,” said Mayor Jim Hamby. “Whatever monies our school is able to raise, the Snook Foundation will write a check to match.”
The school has been working hard to raise money and has raised over $18,000 to date, with the expectation to raise $25,000 by the deadline date of September 4. Whatever monies the town were to donate to the high school now would be doubled thanks to the Snook Foundation’s match, Hamby said.
“If we donate $25,000, that will immediately double to $50,000,” said Hamby. “Then if the school raises $25,000, that immediately doubles as well, and then they’ll have $100,000 which will go a long way to providing the amenities necessary for our high school sports.”
The funds will be used to turn the auditorium into a weight room to accommodate the 200 student athletes currently at the school. The existing band room would be transformed into a girls’ locker room/weight room, as a new band facility is being built presently. Any excess funds would go towards the football fields, providing press boxes and any other necessities. The school recently purchased weight equipment from a school in North Alabama for $8,000. The equipment is in storage until the time a proper weight room is constructed.
The $25,000 has been found in the current fiscal year budget, and will be drawn from the donation fund found within the general fund after it was determined the town has brought in significantly more money on certain line items than anticipated.
“I underestimated where we’re at now on some of our line items, and we still have three more months of this fiscal year,” said Mayor Pro-tem Michael Hudson. “Say for instance our business license line item, we’re already $9,000 over, with three more months of collecting to go. And just in our lodging taxes we’re already $10,000 over. So we already have $19,000 over that’s legitimately there, with $6,000 more needed by the end of the fiscal year … I don’t necessarily like just giving out $25,000 that’s not in the budget, but when you’re able to take $25,000 and make $50,000 then I’m for it.”
With the motion passing, Hamby stated that the money would make a huge difference over at the school, and looks forward to seeing the future developments underway for the students.