The school year is almost over, but some dedicated Wilton sports fans are thinking high school football already. The Wilton Football Boosters held the 2016 Wilton Warriors Football Boosters Golf Outing yesterday, Monday, May 23, to raise money to support the WHS football program as well as the Wilton Youth Football organization.

The Booster Club mission is to help promote the game among Wilton students, encourage higher levels of both participation and fan support for Wilton Football, and assist with equipment, scholarships, or any others areas of need.

The event proved to be very popular for parents of kids who play the sport in town as well as others supporting the program.

“We have 108 golfers, and some more people coming for lunch. The support has been really outstanding,” says Brian Colburn, the incoming president of the Boosters, who said that each golfer paid $225 to golf and enjoy the day with the group at Rolling Hills Country Club. In addition, the organization had a silent and live auction as well as a 50-50 putting green raffle.

Colburn credited several members with helping to organize the event, including Joe Seaman, Steve Luciano, Tom Costello and Chris Previte.

The money raised at the Golf Outing will benefit the entire football program, which recently funded the purchase of a new sound system for Fujitani Field, in cooperation with the Wilton Lacrosse Association and Wilton Youth Field Hockey. The event will help replenish the Boosters’s coffers to allow them to support the players and coaches in other ways.

“Coach has talked to us about some things he’d like for the program, both at the high school level as well as the youth level,” Colburn said, referring to the Varsity Football team’s head coach, Bruce Cunningham, who was at the golf outing to cheer on (and thank) those playing for the program. “One example is at Guy Whitten Field, where a lot of teams play. They don’t have field goals. When they play on that field, they can’t kick field goals. So we’re going to earmark some of this money to buy temporary field goals. We’d like to fix the scoreboard at Guy Whitten Field. There are some advanced tackling dummies that coach wants to use.”

Colburn is pleased with the support the organization is getting from the community; he says that more than 70 local Wilton businesses and families contributed auction items or helped in some way, something for which he was grateful. “Anything they could help us do, fantastic, and everything we’re making is getting funneled right into trying to support the football program.”

Coach Cunningham agreed, and says that community loyalty is so important to him and his program.

“I think it shows great community support. I’ve always wanted the team to be the community’s team, and this is a great example of people coming out from different aspects—former players, parents of the youth program, parents of current players. It does create community atmosphere, which I think is fantastic,” he says.

Both the coach and Colburn are thankful that the town supported re-turfing the field through a budget referendum, as well as for the kind of support shown by the families in the Lacrosse Association and Wilton Youth Field Hockey in contributing toward the purchase of the new sound system. It all helps make the stadium—what Cunningham calls a “centerpiece of the town”—something better for everyone in the town, whether for graduations, July 4th, Relay for Life, or any other purpose.

That’s something that Colburn, as president of the Boosters, hopes to grow and build on even more.

“The whole idea of the booster organization is, I personally would love to see the entire town show up for the games. I’d love the stands to be packed, I’d love everyone to be screaming and cheering like mad. We’re trying to generate excitement, the enthusiasm for the team, the support of the boys and the program in general—to start a big fire that’s going to grow and grow.”

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