Community gets Cocoa Beach sports teams on track
For many on the Space Coast, the onset of fall means pumpkins on the doorstep, cinnamon apple aromas and the long-awaited reopening of the windows. For Brevard County students and families, fall means football games, homecoming dances, and settling into the new school year.
Competitive school sports are a special part of the middle and high school experience. What’s more, these events also provide an opportunity for schools to generate income for sustaining athletic programs through ticket sales and concessions.
For the young track and field and cross country athletes at Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School, however, this is an opportunity they’re missing out on. The deteriorated, dangerous condition of the school’s track has prohibited the school from safely hosting on-site events for more than a decade. This means while other host schools in the county are generating thousands of dollars in financial support for their programs, Cocoa Beach’s parking lot remains empty.
But a community coalition of parents, students, coaches, teachers, administrators, volunteers, and members of the local running community have set out to change this.
Together, they’ve formed the Get On Track community initiative. Their goal? To raise upwards of $450,000 for track replacement and upgrade projects at Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School. Get On Track has raised $50,000 as of mid-September.
This November, in partnership with Cocoa Beach Kiwanis Club and the Cocoa Beach Country Club, they’ll host the inaugural Cocoa Beach Masquerade Ball. The event will feature a fancy, dress-to-impress vibe, dinner, drinks, dancing, live music, games, live and silent auctions and more.
“People love to get dressed up,” said Linda Bunting, the Get On Track volunteer who suggested the gala concept. “Giving people a reason to get all glitzy and glamorous and support their community seemed like a win-win!”
The goal was to think outside the box when it came to raising money for this project. Earlier this year, the group hosted a “Moonwalk-a-thon” in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission. The Masquerade Ball will be the team’s second big event since kicking off fundraising efforts.
“We wanted to create something fun and memorable,” said Marlene White, Get On Track’s director. “Something with the potential to bring the local community together, and get them excited about our shared goal of building a new track for these kids.”
Inaugural Cocoa Beach Masquerade Ball benefiting Get On Track
When: Saturday, Nov. 16, 6-10 p.m.
Where: Cocoa Beach Country Club, 5000 Tom Warriner Blvd., Cocoa Beach
Cost: $75 per ticket, $550 per table (8/table)
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