In an effort to assist Long Beach’s high school sports program in the upcoming school year, the Long Beach Century Club made a $10,500 donation to the Moore League to cover the league dues for the city’s seven high schools.
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures caused a financial shortfall for local high schools, forcing them to miss out on several money-making events the past few months, and to have to issue refunds for events like Prom that had to be canceled. The club’s contribution was intended to help offset those financial concerns and facilitate the return of high school sports, according to Century Club President Shar Higa.
“The mission of the club since its founding in 1957 has been to promote and support youth and amateur athletics in the City of Long Beach,” Higa said. “That has included sponsoring Billie Jean King early in her career, raising money for equipment and uniforms, but there have also been a few times in the club’s history where we’ve been called upon by our community to do things on a bigger scale. A few years ago, funding middle school sports when they were in need is one example.
“This year in an unprecedented time, we turned to our mission and the generosity of our club members to help sports get off the ground again. We know how important it is for our kids, families, and our community to give them something to cheer for after all this is over.”
This particular donation to the Moore League was supplemented by a $10,000 contribution to the club back in February by longtime member and Long Beach icon, Billie Jean King. Covering local high schools’ upcoming league dues for the 2020-21 school year provides financial relief for activities departments undergoing serious budget concerns.
“The schools were elated when they learned of the donation from the Century Club,” said Moore League Secretary Lisa Ulmer. “They were so grateful for their generosity. It’s given them a little relief as far as how to pay for activities, if they happen. The concern with football games, for example, they’re big revenue-generating activities. If football is going to be played they may not allow fans at games, which means no ticket sales. That’s a big concern for ASB and activities directors. And by not having spring events like prom and graduation, which are both revenue generators, that really impacted the budget. So it’s been a struggle.”
The membership dues will be distributed to the league on behalf of the schools, and will go towards covering general operating costs like All-League certificates, All-League patches, and medals for individual league champions. The annual membership dues for the public school league are $1,500 per school.
“It was a big breath of fresh air for our schools to receive that donation,” Ulmer said. “The Century Club has always been there for Long Beach and our athletes, and we’re fortunate they’re so generous with their time, efforts and their funds. We need all the help we can get to get things back to normal.”
Additionally, the Century Club’s board approved a $1,000 donation to St. Anthony High School to purchase sanitizing equipment, including gloves and wipes, in preparation for the upcoming school year.