March Madness may be sweeping the nation, but April brings a different sort of sporting event for the Fife School District. The first annual “Cat Fight” between the Surprise Lake Middle School Sabers and the Columbia Junior High Cougars will be hosted at the Surprise Lake Middle School Gym on April 15, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. The event is a fundraiser for the Surprise Lake Partners in Education and the Columbia Junior High Boosters, in order to raise money for both of the schools. Teachers from each school will be participating in a volleyball match in order to kick off this cross town rivalry. The event will be DJ’d and the elementary school will bring its jump rope and unicycle team to provide additional entertainment.
“We’re really hoping this is a big event. We’re considering it, and it really is, the main fundraising event for both parent groups this year,” said Kim Roscoe of the Columbia Junior High Booster Club fundraising team.
The event will attempt to combat the recent decline in the amount of money raised by these groups for their schools. One-hundred percent of the funds raised at the fundraiser will go to the schools, including revenue from concessions, tickets and donations. Entry for the event is $5 for students of either school and $2 for guests, and tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. You can choose which school you’d like your ticket to support at the time of purchase. As Roscoe explained, “The students come in at a higher rate because they’re the direct beneficiaries.”
The proceeds from concessions sales will also be designated for each school. The Columbia Boosters will be selling food, a choice between a standard, kid friendly hot dog, and a Polish dog for the more refined taste bud. Condiments such as cream cheese, peanut butter and sauerkraut will be available at a separate price.
“We’re selling dogs at a Cat Fight!” as Roscoe put it.
Meanwhile, the Surprise Lake Partners in Education will be running concessions, likely to be items such as popcorn, candy, and bottled beverages. Both groups will be selling their respective spirit gear to help fans cheer on their schools.
There will also be a raffle and a silent auction, with donations from the community making up the bulk of the prizes. These will contain fun items such as gift certificates from businesses in the area - such as Dairy Queen, the Pick-Quick Drive In, Tijuana Taco, the Lakewood House of Donuts, and the Fife 7-11 - Rainiers tickets, and passes to the Experience Music Project and Wild Waves. Several high value items will be involved in the silent auction as well, including, but not limited to, a family scrapbooking day, four Park-Hopper passes to Disneyland, a hunt club experience for kids with the Woodbrook Hunt Club in Lakewood, a Keurig coffee maker with a variety of pods and a blender package. Proceeds from these sales will be split evenly between the two schools.
GNC owners Nick and Bobbie de la Cruz, who will be opening a new franchise at the Commons in Federal Way, are sponsoring the events. They are providing T-shirts for the players and refs, give-away bags for the teachers and generally endeavoring to make the event as successful as possible.
“We just really wanted to give back to our community, give back to the kids,” said Nick de la Cruz.
In the past, money raised from events like these have gone to a variety of programs in each school. In recent years, the Columbia boosters have replaced the school’s sound system, provided support for the after school tutoring program, and have provided funds for FBLA, tech and other clubs to cover their local, state and national competition fees. The Surprise Lake Middle School Partners in Education have provided 12 iPads, eight desktop computers and a drone for student use. “The nice thing is, year to year, depending on how each individual school’s budget plays out, it doesn’t have to be a set item or a set program. It really is a flexible situation where the teachers approach the boosters and say ‘We need assistance with this,’” said Roscoe.
As for the volleyball game itself? Roscoe had this to say: “We’re going to have talent on both sides of the net, but we’re also going to have entertainment on both sides of the net and we’re going to have good personalities on both sides of the net.”