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Due to a team effort, new wall mats were recently installed at Neligh-Oakdale's Elmer Lindahl gymnasium thanks in part to a generous donation from the school's booster club.
At last year's booster kickoff barbecue, then-president Jennifer Pellatz asked parents for ideas and suggestions on what they could help improve at the school. The one thing that really stuck with parents was new mats in the gym. There were several reasons for the mats, Pellatz said, from safety to school pride.
Jeff Kerkman asked parents at the meeting what they see when they walk into the school. Where are the Warrior heads, he asked? Then-Superintendent Kim Lingenfelter told parents that faculty had cited school pride as a concern, and they were working on ways to build pride.
The booster club wanted to help.
"We asked parents to dream. What can we do to help," Pellatz said. "Kim got the mats on the lobby floor, and we started working on the gym mats."
Angie Belitz went to work researching mats and seeing what other schools had. Wherever the Warriors played, Belitz looked at mats and asked questions. She looked at options, pricing and thickness of mats.
"This was a collaboration of boosters helping in a variety of ways," Pellatz said. "From fundraising to research, this was a team effort to get to this point."
Current booster club president April Knust said the organization donated half of the funds necessary for the new mats while the district paid for the other half. Total cost, she said, was $5,363.
Knust said the Neligh-Oakdale Booster Club works hard all year to raise money for various projects to benefit student-athletes and is very appreciative of the support received from parents, the community and local businesses.
The booster club will host a BBQ for parents and student-athletes on Wednesday, April 26, to discuss fundraisers for the upcoming school year. Businesses or individuals who would like to become boosters and donate to the organization are encouraged to contact Knust, Pellatz, Amy Wright and Heather Dawson for more information.
Knust said there are sponsorship levels but any donation is appreciated.