NORFOLK, Va.- The Norfolk Admirals Booster Club has been supporting the team since the Admirals entered the Hampton Roads market back in 1989. Today the booster club sells 50/50 raffles, lets you sponsor players, host meet and greet parties with the team and more.
The Sin Bin’s Ted Warren sat down with Booster Club President, Veronica Haran, and talked about all the different things the Booster Club does every season.
The Sin Bin: What does the Booster Club exactly do?
Veronica Haran: The first and foremost job of the Booster Club is to support the sport of hockey in Hampton Roads. The main function of the Booster Club is holding the 50/50 raffles. The proceeds of the raffle go towards purchasing food and drinks to put on the players’ bus when they go on the road. That’s one of the main functions that we do. On the social side, we like to hold social gatherings for the booster club members and the team. We do a Christmas party every year and an end of the season party every year.
TSB: What type of food do you supply the team with on the bus?
V.H.: I have to go by what the trainer says, they get rice crispy treats, nutri grain bars, nuts, cookies, crackers, bananas, bottled water, Gatorade, apples, oranges juice, danishes, muffins, and bagels.
TSB: What new things are the Booster Club offering this year?
V.H.: This year we tried to start a brand-new program with the “sponsor a player”. We saw a couple different teams do this and we decided this was something we wanted to pursue. We had the full backing of the organization where they allowed us to purchase warm-up jerseys that the players wear during warm-ups. With this sponsorship, each person or family would adopt a player.
TSB: How much is your budget this season?
V.H.: Our budget this year is $10,000.
TSB: How many members do you have?
V.H.: Right now, we have just about 60 members.
TSB: Are there dues to join the booster club?
V.H.: Yes, there are, the membership is $12 for an individual and $24 for a family and that is for the whole year.
TSB: Where can you sign up?
V.H.: At the Booster Club Table, outside Gate 9 or you can send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TSB: What else does the Booster Club do that fans may not realize?
V.H.: This year we worked closely with Christina Woods, the Director of Community Development, and decided that we were going to make Welcome Baskets for the player’s houses. We put together laundry baskets, basic necessities that they may have forgotten to bring, like laundry detergent, dish soap and things like that. We made one for every house that players were living in. The other thing that we did for the players that arrived after the season started, as we gave them little bags with toiletries like shampoos, just a welcoming from the booster club.
TSB: Where is the Christmas party this year?
V.H.: The party this year is going to be held at Uno’s Bar and Grill on Military Highway in Norfolk.
TSB: The club holds monthly meetings, where are they held?
V.H.: We meet at Windy City Pizza in Chesapeake on Kempsville Road.
Can anyone go to the meetings?
V.H. Anyone can go to the meetings.
TSB: What is the source of the club’s income?
V.H.: It comes from the dues, Booster Club souvenir sales, and the 50/50 raffle. The Admirals donated two jerseys to us and we will be auctioning off a Ryan Segalla jersey on December 8th at our table. Kenton Helgesen’s jersey will be auctioned off after the new year.
TSB: What is the biggest misconception about the Booster Club?
V.H.: That all we want to do is chase after players. They’re going to say what they say. I know what I do and I know what I’ve done. I know the people who need to see it and appreciate it are going to and that’s all that matters. I’ve been in this club for twenty years. I’ve had people call me names, and they still do, guess what? I’m still here. I’ve earned the respect of the players and coaches. My job is to make the Booster Club bigger and better.
TSB: What is your favorite part about the Booster Club?
V.H.: I like it all. I love doing it for the players because I enjoy helping people. I love seeing what we do here. I love interacting with the fans. I love explaining what we do here, I love explaining our new programs, I love the hockey season and I love doing this. This is my last year as President.
The Norfolk Admirals continue their homestand against Manchester this weekend. Stop by the Booster Club table outside Gate 9 and learn how to support the Club and ask how to bid on the jersey auctions.