BY SAMANTHA ELLIOTT
The Grosse Ile Athletic Boosters held its annual Comedy Night on March 4 at the Stone Creek Banquet Center in Flat Rock. This year’s event, the fourth annual comedy night, raised $6,500 for the athletic boosters’ general fund.
The comedy night is one of two main fundraisers for the Athletic Department each year. In the fall it holds a golf outing that also raises money for the general fund.
Comedy Night chair Chuck Wojno says the night is a great event for the community for everyone to enjoy themselves while raising money for the athletes.
“The festival-type atmosphere allows parents as well as a few school teachers here and there to let their hair down, which we usually don’t see in the normal course of the day,” he said.
Wojno got involved with the Athletic Boosters almost a decade ago when his daughters started playing varsity sports.
“I was aware of their existence,” Wojno said. “I would get drug into an event and asked to help. I’m not a board member, I’m just a parent that keeps volunteering my time, but they give me the title of chairperson.”
But for Wojno, it has been all about giving back to the community for the last several years.
“I come from a family that was public service and public employees and I know you have to give back to the public and to society to make your life more enjoyable,” he said. “Even though my children are gone at college, it still allows me to see kids I used to watch 10 years ago when my daughters were reffing, now playing varsity sports. It’s enjoyable to see and to know that my involvement — and I know it is just a little bit, there’s a whole lot more that goes into these kids and making them athletes — but to be a small part of allowing that and encouraging that to happen is great.”
The money raised from the fundraiser is going to the general fund to be allocated for the varsity sports on a rotating basis.
“We do not earmark money from this fundraiser or the golf outing,” Wojno said. “Any money is just put into the general fund and we rely on a rotating schedule with each varsity team as to their entitlement to a new uniform. The boosters over the years have determined that for example, girls’ basketball gets new uniforms say for example every four years, but football gets them more frequently because they’re more physical and damaging.”
Money raised by the boosters is also used for the annual scholarship fund as well as an awards banquet at the end of every season.
At season’s end, the boosters put together a banquet for each sports team to congratulate the athletes who have earned their varsity letters, which are supplied by the boosters.
The scholarships go to two graduating senior athletes who have been nominated by their coaches for athleticism, scholarly work and community service, and are then chosen by the boosters.
Aside from the planned expenses, other money requested is given on an as-needed basis.
“Obviously the teams come to us whenever they have an unexpected expense,” Wojno said. “Things break down, they need something new or a new piece of equipment and that’s another thing we put money in the general fund for. We do not have anything at this point on the horizon other than the normal expenses that we supplement the school with.”
With Comedy Night in the books, Wojno is stepping down as chairperson and will be succeeded by Lorri Milewski. He plans to continue to be around and says the event will still be on the calendar for next year.
“They plan on having it again next year because everyone continues to ask about it,” said Wojno. “Little things will be tweaked, but it will continue. (Lorri) has been very involved and she’s got a great sense on how to make things work.”
For now, the boosters will turn their attention to the golf outing which is just a few short months away.
“The primary focus is ensuring we have everything lined up for the golf outing,” he said. “A lot has to go into that as far as sponsors and donators for that event as well. We’re back at it, just on a different fundraising platform.”