8th Annual Encina Alumni Challenge

Final score: Alumni win a thriller 75-73!!!

[Pledges and RSVPs] [Encina Booster Club][Alumni Challenge photos][KCRA VIDEO][Game Stats]

This year we raised over $48,000 for Encina!

"Appreciate the information you sent. KCRA-TV sports producer Chris Lango is excited about this - will make the Encina Alumni game our "game of the week" next Friday night. That should allow for some good coverage during newscasts at 10PM on KQCA and 11PM on KCRA. I expect that will also involve a brief interview with Jim."  KCRA VIDEO
thanks again,
Tom DuHain
Reporter, KCRA-TV News

Alumni team
Front row: Rafael Enriquez '84, Bill Glaholt '88, James Jones '87, Chris Cheng '91
Back row: Ted Novak '87, Ryan Norris '89, Chris Dahlberg '80, Jim Eakins '64, Bob Goosmann '74
Varsity team
Front row: Vitaly Pulber (10), Brandon Amey (15), Chris Renteria (2), Lee Morris (4)
Back row: Dino Johnson (11), Jameel Fullmore (23), Andreas Carey (20). Duane Robinson (55), Derreq Knaules (3), Manuel Alphonso (14), Marschell Brumfield (22), Coach Brian Mitchell
Not pictured: Altron Lee (1)

"Last year was the first Alumni Challenge game that wasn't competitive, so I approached this year's game with the intent of assembling the best Alumni squad ever. Good thing, because this was clearly the most talented Varsity team yet. However, they were not prepared for Ryan "the blur" Norris (32 points), Jumbo Jim Eakins (at 61 years old still the best rebounder on the court), and the rest of the Alumni team that persevered through two bad backs, a broken thumb, and a halftime asthma attack suffered by our best player.

Everything about this year's game was exceptional, from the halftime tributes to the energetic crowd to the down-to-the-wire finish. And we had the most media coverage ever, with a preview article and great "in-game" photo of Jim Eakins in the Bee, and an outstanding "game of the week" segment on Channel 3. As for all of the pledgers--to donate more than $45,000 in these dire economic times is simply amazing.

Thanks to Harlan, Steve, and the many other people who work so hard to make this happen. All of the Encina alumni who contribute and participate should take great pride in being part of one of the most unique and successful high school fund-raisers not just in Sacramento, but in the entire country.

Bob Goosmann '74"

" Great game, wonderful friends, good food and amazing support for Encina. I think this year's Alumni Challenge caps them all for fun, energy, game, friendship, nostalgia, smiles, laughs and cheers!

My sincere thanks to Glenn Campbell (63) for his tribute to Norm Siefkin, and to Doug Kempster (65) for his presentation to Jim Eakins. And THANKS JIM for your support, energy, game and making the trek to Sacramento. We hope to see you again next year!

THANKS to all who donate to make Encina better each year. Given the current economy, we hoped to be able to reach $30,000 this year. As of Friday we were past $45,000. I should have known better. We are ENCINA alumni and no one could be prouder.

On a personal note, thank you to all the people who helped me survive the night by jumping in to help with logistics, ticket sales, raffle, dinner, awards, camera work and much more. Thank you Lee Pratt (61) for donating 6 Jim Eakins Virginia Squires ABA cards for the raffle.

Finally, thanks to Harlan for making it all possible.

Steve Palmer
Class of 74
Alumni Challenge Co-organizer and grateful alumnus "

League Champion Encina Bulldogs to Face Alumni All-Stars In Fund-Raising Event April 18

Former NBA Player Jim Eakins to Lead Alumni Squad

Former ABA and NBA center Jim Eakins will join a group of Alumni All-Stars battling the Encina High School league-champion Varsity team in the 8th annual Alumni Challenge, one of the most successful high school fund-raising events in Sacramento history.

At the age of 61, Eakins will be traveling from Utah to make his second appearance in the event; three years ago, he grabbed 17 rebounds while leading the Alumni to a hard-fought victory.

The Alumni Challenge has generated nearly $300,000 over the past seven years to fund desperately needed programs at the school. What began in 2001 as an effort to raise a few thousand dollars through ticket sales to a pre-game dinner has evolved into a huge fund-raising success, with former students making pledges via the school’s web site.

This year’s game promises to be the most exciting in the series, as the Encina Varsity won the Golden Empire League and finished with an overall record of 21-8. The high-flying Bulldogs scored 100 points in their final playoff game, a loss to Modesto Christian.

In order to be competitive, this year’s Alumni team will be comprised of some of the best former Varsity players who have previously competed in the event. Eakins will be the elder statesman of the squad, with the average age of team members just over 40 years old—more than double that of their opponents.

The 6’11” Eakins led Encina to a 20-0 record in 1964 and was the California High School Player of the Year. Following four years at Brigham Young University, he was drafted in the first round by the Oakland Oaks of the ABA in 1968 and went on to play 10 seasons in the ABA and NBA, averaging 12 points and eight rebounds per game.

The game will be held at the Encina High School gym on Friday, April 18 at 7:30 p.m., preceded by a free barbecue dinner for students, alumni and their families. Additional information is available at www.encinahighschool.com or by calling (916) 875-6847.

Alumni Challenge Dinner
Location: Cafeteria
Time: 530 pm
Caterer: Texas West Barbecue
The traditional hamburgers and hot dogs of previous Alumni Challenge dinners will give way this year to a meal catered by Texas West Barbecue, the award-winning restaurant located just a couple of blocks from the school on Hurley Avenue. They will be bringing their outstanding barbecued ribs, chicken and side dishes to Encina for the pre-game meal, to be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. As always, the meal is free to all Encina students, alumni, family and friends. Current varsity players who will be participating in the game are especially urged to indulge in a big meal. :-)

Alumni Challenge basketball game
Date: Friday, April 18, 2008
Time: 730 pm
Organizers: Bob Goosmann 74 and Steve Palmer 74

Rob Daleiden 90 and crew

Rollin Coxe 64

What is the Alumni Challenge?

Here's an excerpt from the Encina "Bulldog Barks" parent newsletter describing the Alumni Challenge:

"If you have not yet attended an Alumni Challenge, you are in for a REAL treat.
April 20, 2007, is the date for our Seventh Annual Challenge. "What is an Alumni Challenge?" you might ask.
It is a basketball game, where the current Encina varsity basketball team plays a full basketball game
against the alumni from the class of 1961 (Encina had its first graduating class that year) to alumni
as current as five years ago.

You need to know that this is not a slam dunk! The Alumni have won four (4) out of the last six (6) games,
playing our varsity boys team. So, this is an event you don't want to miss. The evening starts off with
a free dinner at 5:30 p.m., and admission to the game is free as well. The game starts at 7:30, and
there is a rousing half time event scheduled.

Why would the alumni put themselves in such a position? This is a fund raiser they started to
help the Encina Booster Club raise funds to support ALL the students and programs here at Encina
High School. Over the years, the funds raised have supported our sports, reading, visual and
performing arts, Encina Broadcast System (EBS), tutorials, just to name a few.

The fund raising component to the Alumni Challenge is the donations received through alumni
class pledges. An example is an alumni will pledge dollars per point, or per three point baskets,
or per the number of points a specific player makes, or perhaps a flat donation. Current students
and families can pledge as well, as a way of cheering on the current varsity team.

This game is a very entertaining event and gives our students and families a chance to meet past
Encina students. It has become a rivalry between the Apaches/Bulldogs (Encina changed its mascot
to the Bulldogs in 1991) and the Bulldogs. Please come out, have dinner and enjoy a GREAT
family fun night."

Who is eligible to play?

"CALL FOR PLAYERS: any alumni who graduated in 2003 or earlier and played basketball for Encina is eligible to play on the Alumni team. Preference will be given first to those who have not played in a previous Alumni Challenge. All players must be available for Saturday practice (at Encina) during the weeks leading up to the event. They must also be in reasonable condition--the game is very competitive and we are competing against players half (and in some cases one-third) our age. If you are interested in playing, contact Bob Goosmann at magusbob@hotmail.com."

I understand we have some fairly recent grads from the 90s who are interested in playing this year. If you are in contact with your basketball playing classmates, please let them know about the alumni challenge and encourage them to play. Three years ago the high scorer for the alumni team was Norm Siefkin from the class of 1963!

Every year we receive inquiries from female alumni who would like to play. Unfortunately, the alumni team is not co-ed. In order to field a women's team, we need someone like Bob to captain/coach/organize a women's team.

What are we raising money for?

Encina gets money for the traditional "core" classes such as math and reading . We (alumni) are providing assistance for many of the extracurricular programs, elective classes, clubs and other programs that help to enrich students' experience at Encina.

The money goes to the Encina Booster Club, who allocates the funds based on requests from students and faculty. While much of the money is allocated to sports as you would expect from a booster club, a lot of the money also goes to non-sports programs.

Here are some of the projects funded by the Encina Booster club in the past year from Alumni Challenge monies:
Viet Nam Memorial
Alumni Website
All Sports (uniforms, tournament fees, bleachers, transportation, stipends, supplies, etc.).
Business Academy End of the Year Luncheon for Seniors
Cheer Camp
CAHSEE (California High School Exit Exam) tutoring and incentives
Wish Lists for staff (this is open to ALL staff to submit items that are not covered by district nor department funds). Some of the items purchased were box converter for VHS to DVD, supplies for counseling for welcome bags for new students,
Alumni Challenge expenses
Undergraduate Awards Program
Business Academy Mentor Meeting supplies
Friendship Day (Mix It Up) supplies (4 times per year)
STAR testing incentives
AVID T-Shirts
CSF Fieldtrip to UOP
Controllers for Interactive Education
Spanish games (verb conjugation, etc.)
Computer programs, guides and graphics for journalism, French and English
Prizes for Open Enrollment Parent Night
Gift cards for a drawing for Take Your Parent to School Day
Special Ed Students field trip to San Francisco
Incentives for PBS (Positive Behavior Systems)

Here is a list of some of the programs funded in the past:
New Student Welcome Program through Counselors
Encina Art Gallery (Art Opening Receptions)
Performing Arts (Students attending local plays)
Freshman Feast (a Freshman event with Senior peers/guides)
Encina Broadcasting System (EBS) (equipment and supplies)
Boy's Soccer
Girl's Soccer
Girl's Softball
Girl's Volleyball
Girl's Basketball
Boy's Basketball
Basketball Tournaments
Sports Banquets
Every 15 minutes (drug/alcohol intervention)
Alumni Challenge event
The encinahighschool.com Website
SAP (Student Assistance Program)
Reading Program
Student to Ashland to participate in Shakespeare Festival
After school tutoring
Backboard replacement
Drama department (students) trip to Ashland


Several alumni have asked whether there is any financial oversight for all the money donated to the Encina Booster Club. Whether there is anything which prevents the funds from being misused or even embezzled.

Steve Palmer 74 realized very early on, that the Encina Booster Club lacked such oversight and worked with Encina to implement sound financial practices. Here is Steve's description...

"I am happy to talk about Encina's Booster Club financial oversight. I sit on the Booster Club as "Auditor". I attend most monthly meetings which are held at 6:30 pm on the second Tuesday of each month except July and August.

Funds that are collected by the Booster Club are deposited into a Bank of America account. Heddy Crowder, Encina's Community Liaison, records how much is received from whom (photocopies incoming checks, snackbar sales records, etc). She emails Harlan and me with Alumni donor name, date of receipt and amount. While Harlan does not usually see snackbar, t-shirt sales and such, I do. The majority of our funding is from Alumni Challenge pledges. Our treasurer is Shastitie Ferris-Miller, a volunteer who works for the state. Shastitie reconciles each month's bank statement with our Quicken records and provides a detailed journal at each monthly meeting. I and Heddy receive a copy of the Quicken files as well. Treasurer's records are reviewed at each meeting at which time we also make disbursements for approved expenses. All personal who handle money are bonded. Encina had some snackbar receipts stolen by a parent in the past, so we're extra careful!

Each year, Principal (Myrtle Berry), our Treasurer (Shastitie) , President (Lucy Thomas), Encina Community Liaison (Heddy Crowder) and I build a proposed budget to be approved (with modification/changes) by the membership. We allocate funds to Encina programs based on department need with about 50% going to sports and 50% going to academic programs, scholarships, Alumni Challenge expenses, and such. Each semester we ask staff to submit requests for program and project funding. We fund those that are believed to provide the greatest positive impact to Encina students.

We hold about 15% in reserve from one year to the next and for "emergency" requests. For example, this year Encina fielded a tennis team for the first time in many years! The Booster Club (because of Alumni generosity) was able to purchase uniforms and equipment.

Please let me know if you'd like more detail or additional information.

Alumni, thank you for supporting Encina's students and future alumni!

Steve Palmer
Encina '74"

How do I pledge?

Send your check to:
Encina High School Booster Club
Encina High School
Attention: Heddy Crowder
1400 Bell Street
Sacramento,CA 95825

Is my contribution tax deductible?

Yes, your contribution is tax deductible. Please take advantage of your company's matching funds program if you have one to double your contribution as I do. Encina will send you a tax letter.

How effective is the Alumni Challenge?

In the past six years the alumni challenge has raised almost $300,000 for Encina!

2007: $53,000
2006: $51,000

2005: $48,000
2004: $46,000
2003: $44,000
2002: $40,000
2001: $15,000

While this is due in no small part to the generosity of alumni benefactor Paul Bonderson 70, last year we had tremendous participation with almost 400 individual alumni pledges. These pledges ranged from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. No pledge is too small, nor too large <g>.

Alumni Challenge plaque

The alumni challenge plaque recognizes the five classes who:
1. pledge the most money
2. have the most pledges

Can I pledge anonymously?

Certainly. When you write, say your pledge is anonymous. However, please let me attribute your pledge to your class so they receive credit.

Why should I contribute?

Well, I can't speak for all alumni, but I give because it makes me feel good <g>. I enjoy supporting the next generation of Encina students, the interclass competition, the funny pledges (Tom Clark 70 gave $50 for a 3 pointer I made before the last game), the pride of supporting my classmates, and the feeling that we, as Encina alumni, are doing something special for our school and the community...

So do it for the kids! And do it because it makes you feel good.

Last updated: 9/8/15

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