Concessions are giving WHS sports a financial lift


Now named Weiser Athletics Concessions, the availability of a nice selection of eats at WHS sporting events has netted over $21,000 for school sports programs since last spring. A photo from a 2023 softball game shows organizers, from back, Wade Cordes, Ginger Hickey, and Jason Noyer. Also pictured are an unidentified customer, Hannah Cordes, and Tobie Noyer.
By: 
Nancy Grindstaff
Coming to life just a year ago, a novel idea to create funding for Weiser High School’s sports programs at the site of the events has netted over $21,000 in less than 12 months.
 Starting early in the 2023 softball season, the only recently named Weiser Athletics Concessions began to build a reputation that now draws additional spectators to games and meets, as well as outside sales customers who support WHS youth and athletics in the school.
 It’s not that concessions in one form or another haven’t been available over time, but Ginger Hickey, the organizer behind this new drive, wants to see the consistency of the concessions earn the always needed extra funding for the school’s athletic programs and reduce calls from the sports teams for donations.  
 Sitting down with Hickey at her hair and nail salon next door to the Weiser Signal American late last week, she was quick to give credit to a myriad of people who worked with her from the very first softball game last spring, Wade, Kelli and Hannah Cordes, Tricia Roberts, and an upcoming Wolverine athlete, Ava Shirts. Over the past year many others have rallied to the effort, she said.
 “The list is long,” Hickey said. “Several people have donated baked goods, and random people pitch in to sell, along with passersby giving us a hand. Others pick up groceries, make signs, and a couple of tech-savvy ladies just set up a social media page to inform people when the concessions will be set up at a game.
 “It wasn’t super promising when we did our first softball game last spring, but we kept at it and in the end it was huge,” Hickey said. “Our last game, which was only a varsity game against McCall, we sold 80 burgers and had to turn customers away. So, for the softball program’s season, it was just over $3,500.”
 She described the project’s evolution since that first game.
 “When we started, we began with these burgers on a barbecue grill, and we were fighting flames the whole time,” Hickey said. “So, I purchased a Traeger griddle, and then through a connection of Wade’s, we’ve since been donated a Blackstone grill. We didn’t have to pay for it.
 “I did try the smaller games last week with just one grill, but once we’re selling, we need that second one for warming buns and having enough burgers so people don’t have to wait,” she added.  “I do my best at trying to keep the burgers fresh. That sometimes means long lines.”
 During the just completed basketball season, Hickey said the net proceeds added up to $13,000. 
 “My goal was $12,000 for basketball, but thanks to the boys for having that extra district game, we raised another $1,000,” she said.
 Hickey and her crew have developed a consistent menu during the year that includes 1/2 pound Angus burgers with grilled onions, fresh cinnamon rolls, pretzel bites with cheese, cookies, Italian sodas, coffee and much more.  
 Along with the popular menu, they have perfected a system that makes for a smooth set up and take down, moving the grills in and out of a trailer, and storing the equipment there between games. 
 She said some earlier concerns that had been expressed to her were that the price points of the food selections might be too much for students.
 “That’s proven to not be a concern,” Hickey said. “The band, cheerleaders, the student section, the students are buying.
 “We’ve clearly shown how much can be made by showing up,” Hickey said. “It was a slow start, but in the end it’s big. You just have to build a reputation, which is what we’ve done.”
 The winter sports season officially concluded with the State Wrestling tournament this past weekend, and Hickey is in the process of having conversations about which spring sports home games, meets, and match dates the Concessions will set up. 
 She said she does have two home track meets and the State baseball tournament at NNU slated on her docket, as well as Weiser’s summer boys basketball tournament in June.

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Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718
 

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