Hello. I just wanted to make a few comments regarding my experience at the Blanco football game on Friday night. I have been a fan of the Panthers for 4 years now, and I try not to miss any games. One day my son will be wearing the Blue and Gold and I am proud to sport the t-shirts and the decal on my car that identify me as a Panther fan. I have gotten used to the routine at the home games. I buy my ticket, and then immediately I am confronted in a pleasant way by the raffle ticket person. I always buy 2 (and never win, but who cares), and then I get a program. That is my routine. Things got a bit more complicated last Friday, though.
After purchasing the program, I found myself standing in front of a cake/cupcake auction to benefit a good cause. I quickly made a few bids and then turned back in the direction of the seating as I arrived early on purpose; I knew that tonight there would be a big crowd and I wanted a seat. As I tried to make it to the stands, I had to say no to the lady selling t-shirts and charms. Then I was confronted 3 times on my way to the seats by children selling things. I also ran into the other raffle sale just before I reached the seating. I took a deep breath once I was seated and counted my blessings that the rush to take my money was over. I was wrong.
In between the 1st and 4th quarter (I left as the 4th quarter was beginning), I was approached by 5 different children asking me to buy either a ribbon for $1.50 or a silver Blanco car decal for $10.00 (the same young girl approached me 3 times before I finally relented). Those persons sitting around me were just as upset as I was by this situation. As we watched, more and more kids came into the stands to sell things... t-shirts, ribbons, decals, etc. Whenever I asked what the sale was about, I was given the name of some teacher or another. Was this a contest between classrooms to see who could raise the most money? I will not mention my horrible experiences when visiting the concessions stand and restroom for fear of repeating myself.
I understand that our kids need to raise money on occasion for trips and other school-approved (and worthwhile) causes, but Friday night was obscene. Forgive my choice of words if I have offended, but that is how I felt with this onslaught of children as young as 7 (maybe 8) trying to sell me things. And I am not complaining about the mad dash from the entrance of the stadium to the seating (as unpleasant as it is), I am talking about what happened once I was seated. And then, to start the 4th quarter, we get an announcement that the cheerleaders want us to buy sports bags for $20.00! This was too much for me. As for the kids in the stands, I can say that I would not be comfortable with my child approaching strangers asking for money (without me there).
Hopefully what happened last Friday night was an exception because of homecoming and other “bad timing” issues. I will be at the next game, but if I have to have my viewing regularly interrupted in this manner again, it will be my last game until next year. I must say if the BISD is so short on funds that students (very young students) have to climb into the stands for 4 quarters to raise money for worthy causes, maybe we need to review exactly how taxpayers’ money is being spent.