16th Annual Encina Alumni Challenge

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Score: Alumni 59, Varsity 51
Date: Friday, April 22, 2016

This year we raised over $40,000

Alumni and varsity teams

Varsity team

#35 Victor Randall
#23 Jordan Ferrer
#10 Joevontae (Joe) Atkins
#11 Keo Leatherwood
#15 David Fontenot
#21 Jeff Hufana
#20 Damarco Cambell
#12 Jameson Gloria
#4 Deric Blakes
#1 Durran Nock
#3 Damien Boatwright
#2 Jarell Williams
Team Captains: Keo Leatherwood, Jordan Ferrer, Joevante Atkins
Coach: Kevin Parker
Assistant coach: Cody Cheek

Alumni team

#0 Brandon Amey, 2009
#23 Phil Johnson, 2006
#11 Andre Mayo, 2006
#10 Mike Holmes, 2004
#15 Julian Jefferson, 2001
#24 Tony Senior, 1987
#22 Mike Martis, 1977
#9 Chuck Boneck, 1976
#74 Bob Goosmann, 1974 (captain, coach)

Alumni Challenge BBQ and Game
Friday, April 22, 2016

The Sixteenth Annual Encina Alumni Challenge was a success as a fundraiser and a lot of fun. The varsity team seemed to answer every Alumni basket making for a close game right up to the last minute or two, when the Alumni pulled ahead to win.

I continue to be impressed by the generosity of Encina Alumni. We're approaching $40,000 in pledges this year. I am fortunate to work with Encina's leadership and students and know that our donations will be put to good use. 

Prior to dinner, our Hall of Fame inductee, Paul Bonderson told of over-coming obstacles, taking risks and his path to success in high tech. I thoroughly enjoyed his presentation, and will have the video uploaded so others can as well! Paul and his wife, Sandi, are so gracious and have done so much to help Encina. It was nice to honor Paul and and have him and Sandi back at Encina for the evening.

I want to make sure to recognize Lynne Tracy '78, for singing the Alma Mater this year. It was heart-warming and brought back a feeling of pride and belonging to the event. This school year, students have been learning the Alma Mater words, which are STILL on the gym wall above the door, but didn't know it was set to music. Lynne showed them how it's done!! Thanks, Lynne :)

Peter Boam '63 was our MC again this year and, as always, did a great job! Peter can handle any curveball we throw like a pro (which he is!).

If you were there, you got to see Encina's ASB students and cheerleaders greet people at the door, serve dinner, give campus tours and more. Several alum mentioned how warm and attentive students were. Not surprising, but nice to hear! :)

While Harlan may edit this out because he's modest, WE ALL KNOW that the Alumni Challenge couldn't work without his personal connection to our alumni. It's so impressive to see how he can remember alumni, their families, and details about each of us. I kind of wonder if he worked for the NSA :) Harlan makes all the difference to us. 

Finally, I want to make sure to thank all of the alumni, staff and parents who have, and continue to support Encina. 

You are the best!

Steve Palmer
Class of '74
Booster Club Treasurer
Alumni Challenge co-organizer

It's hard to believe we've been doing this for 16 years, although I certainly felt it in my body the morning after the game!  This year the Alumni team made the mistake of seriously underestimating the Varsity team--when they came out for warm-ups, they looked like a bunch of little kids (I later found out from Coach Parker that the team comprises mainly Freshman and Sophomores).  We jumped out to an early lead and were feeling quite confident, then started goofing around and found ourselves tied at halftime.  The Varsity came out in the second half knowing they had a chance to win, and battled us hard the rest of the way.  Fortunately we were able to prevail, although I'm concerned that with another year of experience, next year's Varsity team will be tough to beat!  As always, the generosity of the alumni was amazing this year--thank you for providing the additional funding that our alma mater so desperately needs.  You are doing a great thing that helps a lot of kids.  And thanks to those who come to the game each year to cheer us old guys on--hope to see you in 2017!

Bob Goosmann  '74
Alumni Challenge co-organizer


Paul Bonderson '70 presentation, 4:30 - 5:00 pm in Black Box Theater

"I will talk a little about when I was at Encina, about lessons learned during my career and close with Ducks Unlimited."

Please join us in the Black Box theater for what promises to be to be a fascinating talk.

RSVP to Harlan (encinawebmaster@laufamily.com) if you will be attending Paul's presentation.

BBQ Dinner, 5:30 - 7:15 pm

As always, a delicious free BBQ dinner will be served in Encina's cafeteria prior to the basketball game. Award-winning Texas West BBQ will serve chicken, ribs, salad and side dishes, drinks and dessert. Join us to share memories and favorite stories, meet old friends and make new ones! In addition, student body leaders will be on-hand to give campus tours.

Encina Hall of Fame Ceremony - Paul Bonderson '70


Class of 1966 Golden Graduates

Join us to celebrate Encina's Class of 1966--with special remembrances, Class of 66 alumni, faculty, Class of 1966 memorabilia, special "50 Years" Birthday Cake and more!

Alumni Challenge Basketball Game, 7:30 - 9:00 pm

Dinner will be followed by the always-exciting basketball game between an Encina Alumni team and the current Boys Varsity team. This extremely competitive series currently stands at 8 wins for the alumni and 6 wins for the varsity. Our professional announcer, Peter Boam (Class of '63) will call the game and be Master of Ceremonies for the event.

All Proceeds Help Encina and the Students

The Alumni Challenge is one of the most successful high school fundraisers in Sacramento history. Last year we raised over $50,000 and the grand total is over $637,000 in total funds raised by alumni for our school!! THANK YOU!

Even if you cannot attend the event, please consider a donation on behalf of your graduating class. Your donation helps fund equipment and tournament fees for sports, academic programs, field trips, scholarships, college campus tours, and much more at Encina.

Here are some of the many things funded through the generosity of our donations JUST in the last 12 months:

Football uniforms, programmable microcontroller-based robots for physics, basketball tournament fees, tools and glazes for ceramics, soccer uniforms (championship teams can be hard on uniforms <g>), girls basketball uniforms and shooting shirts, girls softball uniforms, volleyball equipment, new wrestling mats (Encina can now host tournaments for the first time in MANY years), calculators for math classes, college scholarships, cooking club, health occupation students to HOSA state conference, Encina Safe All Nite Grad, and MORE.

Almost ALL of these programs and projects get no funding from the school district or other sources, but make a big impact on campus and students' lives. We have made, and continue to make, a positive impact on Encina!

We look forward to seeing everyone at this year's Alumni Challenge!

Steve Palmer            Bob Goosmann             Harlan Lau
Class of '74               Class of '74                     Class of '73

Alumni roster

#0 Brandon Amey, 2009
#23 Phil Johnson, 2006
#11 Andre Mayo, 2006
#10 Mike Holmes, 2004
#15 Julian Jefferson, 2001
#24 Tony Senior, 1987
#22 Mike Martis, 1977
#9 Chuck Boneck, 1976
#74 Bob Goosmann, 1974 (captain, coach)

Varsity roster

#35 Victor Randall
#23 Jordan Ferrer
#10 Joevontae (Joe) Atkins
#11 Keo Leatherwood
#15 David Fontenot
#21 Jeff Hufana
#20 Damarco Cambell
#12 Jameson Gloria
#4 Deric Blakes
#1 Durran Nock
#3 Damien Boatwright
#2 Jarell Williams
Team Captains: Keo Leatherwood, Jordan Ferrer, Joevante Atkins
Coach: Kevin Parker
Assistant coach: Cody Cheek

Videographer: Access Sacramento
M.C.: Peter Boam 63
Photographer: 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.
"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.

This extremely competitive series has the Varsity Team with six wins to the Alumni Team's five, so the Alumni Team will be extra motivated to bring home a victory this year. 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 at least 5 years ago 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 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. Several 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 , which 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 goes to academic and other non-sports programs.

Here are some testimonials from recipients of the alumni challenge pledges.

Here is a list of some of the programs funded in the past:
Viet Nam Memorial honoring Encina Alumni
All Sports (uniforms, tournament fees, bleachers, transportation, 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).
Alumni Challenge expenses
Undergraduate Awards Program
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)
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
Supplies for Garden Club, Japanese Club, Dance, Drum Line
Laser for science classes to teach particle/wave theories and demonstrate interference
Calculators for science and math classes
Art supplies for ceramics
University field trips (Chico, Berkeley, Stanford, Davis and others)
All night Sober Grad
Books for the Library
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. Is there 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 sat on the Booster Club as "Auditor" for several years and have been Treasurer for the last seven years. My classmate Bob Goosmann (Alumni Challenge player/coach) and I attend most monthly meetings, which are held at 4:30 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. Donations via PayPal are recorded and acknowledged and then transferred to our Bank of America account. The majority of our funding is from Alumni Challenge pledges. As treasurer, I reconcile each month's bank statement with our Quickbooks records and provide a detailed transaction journal, spending vs. budget analysis and balance sheet at each monthly meeting. Treasurer's records are reviewed at each meeting at which time we also make disbursements for approved expenses. Our CPA reviews our work and prepares our annual tax filings.
Each year, Principal (Richard Judge), Booster Club President (Angie Kerr), 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, a few years ago Encina fielded a Girls Softball team for the first time in many years! The Booster Club (because of alumni generosity) was able to purchase uniforms and equipment. (The team is still going strong!)

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

(please note your class year and whether you want pledge to be anonymous)

Or pay using PayPal or credit card: http://encinahighschool.com/homecoming/pledge_okay.htm

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 fifteen years the alumni challenge has raised over $638,000 for Encina!

2015: $50,000
2014: $47,000
2013: $44,000
2012: $40,000
2011: $43,000
2010: $34,000
2009: $36,000
2008: $48,000
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, we have had as many as 400 individual alumni pledges in past years. 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: 06/08/2016

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