Canton Golden Bears Booster Club, A Solid Foundation and a Strong Future!

Proudly Serving All C.C.S. Athletic Teams Since 1992!!

Formed in the Fall of 1992 by a small group of Golden Bears who had the dream of enhancing the overall athletic experience for C.C.S. Athletes, the Booster Club was developed to support all Varsity teams and individuals.  Founding members included Nellie Coakley, Gail and Tim Abplanalp, Agnes (Scotty) Bullock, and Augie Weiss.  The legendary Con Elliot of Potsdam was also included in the original group along with Canton Alumnus and Athletic Director at the time, Rick Mace.  With the assistance of Mr. Elliot, the Potsdam High School Booster Club By-Laws were shared and used as a tool to develop the original Canton Booster Club Charter.  Many of the original policies and procedures are still used to this day.  According to Nellie Coakley, the original group consisted of eleven members including Gail and Tim Abplanalp, Nellie Coakley, Scottie Bullock, Diane White, Margaret Nordberg, Augie Weiss, Denise and Steve Cannon, Sherrie Parcell, and Judy Chase.

The mission was (and is) to provide needed support to ALL athletic teams outside of funds appropriated by the school budget.  There has been a misconception that the group benefits certain teams over others.  This simply is not the case and as I will describe later, the groups’ decisions are driven by a desire to help all of the teams. 

The original goals of the group included ways to increase school spirit through the sale of school and team apparel, spirit wear and accessories and to assist with needs of the teams above and beyond the school budget.  Some of the early achievements included the purchase of a school mascot, the refurbishment of the Golden Bear mascot, assistance with supplies for teams, assistance for transportation for hockey players which traveled to the state championships, and the contribution toward the purchase of team uniforms. Mrs. Coakley stated, “We are proud to have started a great tradition and see it successfully continued here at Canton Central!”

Many members have come and gone during the years, as well as many past presidents…. some of which include: Nellie Coakley, Denise Canon, Chris Lumbard, Kathy Cougler, Phyllis Howard, Kelli Glasgow, Terri Proulx, Amy Sipher, Mary Beth Sieminski and current president Kristen Jaskowski.  The Club has worked over the years with Athletic Directors Rick Mace, Amber Wilcox, Dave Bradman and currently yours truly.  Another several hundred folks have served the group since its inception in 1992…. all of which deserve a ton of credit for their support throughout the years.

One of the reasons why I felt compelled to write this article was to provide a bit of information which many people may not be aware of.  The original purpose of the Booster Club was to support Varsity level teams.  That philosophy began to change in 2008 as the group grew and now serves to support all levels of athletics at Canton Central including Modified, Junior Varsity and Varsity.  Membership in the group generally includes parents and supporters of Varsity level athletes but we are always looking for new membership…..particularly of Modified athletes.  Anyone is welcome to attend meetings as dates and times are advertised via this Plaindealer Sports Blog operated by Jake Newman and on the Booster Club Facebook page.

As I mentioned above, the group works diligently to support all teams and therefore every dollar is spent with a great deal of scrutiny.  Some more noticeable recent purchases include: the barrier netting at the end of the Roger Dusharm Field, the sound system on the lacrosse/football field, records boards for the swim and track teams, three portable sound systems which are used by all teams, new dumbbells and weights for “Power Hour” functional training sessions, history banners and wall pads in the main gymnasium, a ceiling suspended, (key operated) batting cage in the Middle School Gym, light pole pride banners in the parking lot, bench covers for the soccer and lacrosse teams, deck jackets for the swim teams, cold climate jackets which are shared by all teams, television for the lobby of the Pavilion, a new set of soccer goals, 65 hurdles for the track, a volleyball AirCat trainer, the high jump mats and standards, a fully automatic timing system for the track, a new scoring table for the gymnasium and soon to arrive two Pixellot Cameras which will allow us to livestream events located in the gymnasium and inside of the track.  I am sure that I am leaving something out but as you can tell, the group has been hard at work for many years!! I cannot thank them enough!!

On top of the larger purchases, the group also provides a $300.00 rotational gift to every sports every other year.  This gift can be used to supplement the schools equipment and supply budget or spent on other items the team may be interested in.  Each team also has its own line item within the Booster Club Budget which this donation can be rolled into if the team wishes to save it for future use.   Teams traveling to state level contests are given some dollars to enhance their experience and the organization also recognizes a male and female student-athlete each year by presenting him/her with a scholarship at graduation.  There is also a fund within the Boosters which has been set aside to assist athletes who may not have the financial resources to purchase cleats or sneakers, a bathing suit, or whatever other item(s) he/she may need.  The Club sponsors the spring, fall, and winter sports recognition events and provides desserts for the entire community. 

I could not be more satisfied with the direction which the Canton Golden Bears Booster Club is heading.  From its inception the founding members ensured that its roots were firmly established and the current group continues to nurture the development and growth of the organization.  If you are motivated, if you enjoy athletics and wish to see continued to see successful student-athletes have an enjoyable high school experience, please consider attending a meeting, joining the team, working a concession stand or helping in whatever capacity you can.  The next scheduled meeting will be held on Monday, December 2nd at 7:00 pm in the High school Cafeteria.  See you there!!

Go Bears!

William A. Porter

Director of Athletics  

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