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Wildcats Need a Boost to Save Matthew Barker Complex

By Staff | Jan 6, 2016

Paden City’s Matthew Barker Memorial Complex needs a helping hand.

For decades, the Paden City Wildcat Boosters’ club has raised money for anything ranging from athletic uniforms to scholarships. The Grasshopper Youth League uses the facility to train young aspiring athletes. Now, the group needs to raise money to save the athletic complex from drowning in a sea of red ink.

“The boosters have literally put millions of dollars back into the schools through funding requests because we’ve been around more six decades, so we’re hoping to keep the complex alive,” said Miranda Sine-Corcoran, boosters’ secretary. “That complex is definitely a vital part of the community not only for local sports, but to be used as a Red Cross in the event of an emergency.”

Corcoran said the boosters need to raise at least $86,000 in funds toward eliminating the debt for the complex.

Sine-Corcoran said if the group is able to generate $86,000 then it will add that money to a $64,000 grant for a combined total of $150,000 to pay off one loan. Add another $25,000 more to pay off another smaller loan, then the boosters will be able to pay the total $175,000 balance for the construction of the complex. She said the grant can only be used to pay the building loan.

Toward this end, the boosters are initiating fundraising activities aimed at generating revenue such as cornhole tournaments and barbecue wing nights.

“We’re trying to bring new fundraisers to the table,” she said. “We’re hoping to rent the complex more often in the future to raise needed funds. And we want to have fundraisers that are more like events to give people in the community something to do.”

The boosters have created a fundraising page – located gofundme.com/u7esjzks that has raised about $2,000 in about two weeks. Sine-Corcoran said for many years, the complex’ main funding came from bingo games, but that source of revenue has dried up. She said 10 years ago, a good night at bingo brought in $5,000 whereas in recent years the game brought in $500 per quarter – three months. She said the boosters’ stopped playing bingo and are now looking for other ways to raise money. The complex’s $3,400 monthly expenditures include utility, insurance and loan costs, Sine-Corcoran said.

To add the boosters’ financial concerns, the group is not listed as a non-profit, so donations were not tax deductible. Sine-Corcoran said the boosters are in the process of changing that status so that companies among others can donate funds that would be considered tax deductible.

“Our accountant is in the process of getting paperwork done to make the organization a true non-profit,” she said.

Acquiring grants may be another way the boosters seek to raise funds. The complex is a Red Cross shelter, but the boosters could get more grants if the shelter is classified as an official Federal Emergency Management Relief center.

“If the complex were to acquire two generators, it would be considered a FEMA shelter which would really help because the booster club would be able to provide apply for more grants,” she said.

The key to boosters’ success is the community’s desire to save what it has for future Wildcats

“The boosters have been helping Wildcat students for over 50 years,” Paden City Councilman Joel Davis said. “The Barker Memorial Building is a great asset to not just Paden City students , but Paden City and the surrounding area as well. The present and future possibilities and benefits of the complex are endless, but we as a community have to work together to help each other out when the need arises. I want to personally thank the Boosters for all their help over the years and I look forward to what the future will bring.”