In 1998, a group of Little Falls community members got together to try to preserve extracurricular activities in danger of being cut.
Hoping to maintain the school’s strong athletic tradition, the contingent created the Little Falls Flyer Athletic Foundation.
The main focus was at the elementary and middle school levels, with the belief that the school could continue funding the varsity level.
“The idea behind it was we weren’t going to have really good varsity programs if we didn’t fund the youth programs,” Lori Kasella said.
While the group’s name has since changed, that original idea has stuck with the Flyer Athletic Boosters (FAB).
Kasella, the FAB treasurer, said that since 2004, when the group changed names, the non-profit organization has raised $180,000.
That money is funneled back into local programs, helping to keep Little Falls athletics programs healthy and strong, activities director Jay DeCann said.
“The Flyer Athletic Boosters has been a huge support system for Flyer activities and youth sports in Little Falls with supplementing funding for big ticket items that benefit our student-athletes that fundraising and school budgets cannot purchase alone,” he said.
FAB has traditionally raised funds through memberships and an annual golf extravaganza tournament.
“Most recently we’ve gotten into gaming,” Kasella said. “Through the gaming we’ve raised most of our money.”
To acquire FAB funding, programs go through a request process, asking for certain items, such as equipment. Then FAB determines how many people a given project will help, and if it has the ability to fund it.
“We work very closely with the school to make sure we’re not funding things they should be funding, and to make sure we’re not funding things we shouldn’t be funding,” Kasella said, with specific guidelines set out by the Minnesota State High School League.
“Most of our donations go toward equipment that goes over and above things that the school would typically purchase,” she said.
Some of what FAB has done includes extensive contributions to the weight room, replacing middle school football helmets, purchasing timing and a scoreboard for swimming and on and on.
The larger the group that will benefit from a request, the better the chance FAB will look to support it.
FAB also chips in with various community events, such as the Day of Caring, the climbing wall at Lindbergh School and the Healthy Communities Collaborative.
The Little Falls Flyers Hall of Fame is also paid for completely by FAB, honoring standout athletes, coaches and community members.
With a decade of exceptional fundraising completed, FAB is always looking for new members to join.
Those interested can do so at the fall athletic meeting, at various games or online at www.flyerathletic boosters.com, with the option of giving support either financially or by volunteering at events.