Roy Billhimer graduated from Broadway High School more than 60 years ago, but as a member of the BHS Athletic Booster Club, he still remains a loyal Gobbler fan.
“I’ve stayed involved. I had four children [attend BHS], and three were involved with the athletics and one was in the band,” he said.
Though generally proud of his former high school, in recent years Billhimer has been displeased by the poor state of the seating area surrounding the baseball field, which he says consisted of sand, ditches, railroad ties and a couple of bleachers.
“We did not have walkways,” he remarked. “When rain came, [the sand] would just wash away. There was nowhere for the water to go but behind the dugouts.”
In addition to being unsightly and uncomfortable, he says the lack of structure provided a real challenge for the elderly, the handicapped, or anyone pushing a stroller.
“We had some accidents, like sprained ankles,” he added.
Many attendees also had to bring their own lawn chairs, as the bleachers were unable to accommodate the crowds.
With the help of the Athletic Boosters Club, however, the seating area has undergone a transformation. Among the additions: $10,000 worth of seating, a $9,000 cement walkway, and a $20,000 deck.
“The deck is very handicapped-accessible,” said Billhimer, who believes it’s important for everyone to be able to attend the games. “It’s smooth, there are no steps to go up, and there’s a place for wheelchairs or strollers.”
BHS helped with the club’s project, replacing all the sand with “five trailer loads of top soil” and grass. If their budget allows, Billhimer says the school may also compensate the club for the cost of the walkway.
To help fund the other renovations, the ABC offered community members the opportunity to dedicate chairs in honor of a person, club or business. In exchange for a fee, a small plaque naming the honoree was placed permanently on the chair.
“That helped raise money to pay for a lot of the seats,” he remarked.
To afford the other improvements, the ABC dipped into their treasury fund, which comes mainly from concession stand sales and professional football ticket raffles.
Billhimer, whose “tickled” by the changes, says the club has already received positive feedback from the community.
“We’ve already received lots of great comments,” he said. “It’s going to be much nicer to go to games.”
Contact Katie King at (540) 574-6271 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want To Join?
According to Billhimer, new BHS Athletic Booster Club members are needed “anytime.”
The group meets monthly, and plans fundraising activities to support the school’s athletic teams.
For more information about the next meeting, visit http://blogs.rockingham.k12.va.us/bhs