Soccer games mean kids, parents, grandparents and probably a hungry or thirsty player or fan or two. Or three.
Hoping to capitalize on that hunger and thirst, utilizing it as a fundraiser, members of the Escalon High School Travel Club have been manning the City of Escalon snack bar at Hogan Field adjacent to the community center during Saturday’s recreational youth soccer games.
“This activity represents a fundraiser for the Travel Club and its participants, so all of the profits that are currently being generated at the snack bar are going straight to the Escalon High School Travel Club in order to help the kids pay for their overseas trips,” explained club advisor and EHS teacher George Megenney.
The group is halfway through the endeavor, serving up the snacks this past Saturday for the fourth time, with four more Saturdays to go.
“Running that snack bar represents our various crew members getting up early on Saturday mornings in order to be there at 6 a.m. to start opening and set-up,” Megenney said. “The kids show up along with some parents and then we do our level best to hustle and serve people what we have at a reasonable price while still raising a profit for the kids.”
The club also has to pay the City of Escalon for some maintenance costs but most of the proceeds will go toward the EHS Travel Club.
Among the students working on Saturday, some are planning to go on a trip during Spring Break 2014, while others are looking ahead to a 2015 trip. But all were happy to be there, helping out and supporting each other.
Freshman Andrew Murphy, 14, was manning the nacho station, serving up the crunchy, gooey snack. Junior Brand Nicolay, 16, and eighth grader Tim Megenney, 13, stayed busy stocking sodas and juices in the cooler and freshman Stacy Nuno helped young customers make snack and candy purchases.
“I’m in the Travel Club to visit places and get to know the world a little better,” said Nuno.
Murphy agreed, saying that he wanted “to see the world and travel” and is happy to show up and help out on Saturdays.
“It’s kind of a once in a lifetime thing,” junior Nicolay said of getting the chance to go overseas with teachers and classmates. He’s eager to go on the spring break trip to Spain, France and Italy.
The snack bar opens before the first soccer games start at 8 a.m. and is open throughout the day, closing down around 3:30 p.m.
In between, the students learn a little bit about customer service, sales and earn some money to benefit their club.
The 2014 Spring Break trip will be to Australia and New Zealand.
“This will be the first time I’ve not led a trip to Europe with kids from EHS. It’s always exciting to organize and lead a tour, but this one is just a tad different because we’re all headed in the opposite direction from where we have normally been traveling,” Megenney explained. “In 2015 it’s back to Europe; first Spain, then Southern France and finally Italy to wrap it all up.”
Megenney said he likes to plan the tours well in advance so students can take advantage of some price breaks for early sign-ups and can also get a head start on fundraising.
“I do my best to get these things set up early so that I can obtain the lowest possible prices from the tour company I use,” he said. “We fundraise to help them lower their travel expenses, so that when we’re all done the trip is both a relative bargain and the learning experience of a lifetime.”
Parents can explore the Travel Club webpage on Megenney’s staff page at escalonhigh.org and they can also read reviews of previous trips taken by EHS alumni on the Travel Club Alumni Review page.