Guest speaker and former New Haven Track star Laura Brandt Miller addresses over 50 people at Thursday's Town Hall meeting.
New Haven, Mo. - Recognizing the need for a community track, members of several local businesses and New Haven High School alumni have joined forces by taking the first steps and forming “The Committee to Build a New Track” with the motto of “Keeping Our Tradition on Track.”
Last night (Thursday) the committee held a town hall meeting where New Haven Athletic Director Ray Steinhoff, Track Coach John Tucker, and 10-time State Champion Laura Brandt Miller spoke about the benefits a new track would bring not only to the Track Program, but the educational advantages to the student body as well as the New Haven Community.
The New Haven Track Program has won a combined 24 individual and relay State Championship, winning the schools first ever team State Championship in 2002. Since that year the New Haven School District has had 333 athletes compete with 96 of them qualifying for the Missouri State Track Meet and all these accomplishments were achieved without having a track.
“The Committee to Build a New Track” consists of Tracy Langenberg, Connie Gerdes, Brad Zobrist, Ray Steinhoff, Josh Hoener, David Engelbrecht, and Angela Scheer.
The committee is looking into doing the fundraiser (asking alumni and businesses for tax-deductible donations) and also looking into grants to raise the $350,000, that it would cost to put in an 8-lane rubber track, with a goal to have enough funds raised by Jan. 31, 2015.
Brad Zobrist explained how funds would be handled. “Founded in 1992 the New Haven School District Foundation (not for profit corporation - 501©(3)) must use all funds to benefit the New Haven School District.”
There are seven donation levels. The amounts are cumulative. For example if you made two $250 tax deductible donations over the course of the fundraising campaign then you would be at the “two meter” level.
Donation Levels (Your name will be placed on a plaque for “one meter” and above.
Booster - $50
Varsity - $100
One Meter - $250
Two Meter - $500
Silver - $1,000
Gold - $2,500
Shamrock $5,000 and above
Laura Brandt Miller, who continued her illustrious track career at University of Missouri said, “Imagine if we didn’t have a basketball court to practice on instead only had two baskets to shoot at and no lines on the floor (free-throw line, out of bounds, half court, etc…) except during games. The exact same thing applies to track.”
“Currently we cannot practice hurdles, relay handoffs, long jump, triple jump, high jump, and are not able to offer the pole-vault with our current facilities. Instead we either learn in meets, which is a testament to the kids who come out for track,” Head Track and Field Coach John Tucker explained. (pictured right)
“But the benefits go beyond the track team” said, Athletic Director Ray Steinhoff who’s in his 34th year as New Haven’s Physical Education Teacher.
“Teaching Physical Education (P.E.) during my entire career here (New Haven High School) every student that comes through here, from the time they begin seventh grade they are required to take P.E. and then two years in high school (majority of students take at least three years of P.E.), Steinhoff added.
Steinhoff pointed out how having a good rubber surface to run on reduces the amount of stress and injuries that are caused from having to run on hard pavement and loose gravel.
New Haven is a special place, in fact the building of the high school gym was built thanks to donations from the New Haven community.