Lacey Athletic Funding History
and the evolution of the Lacey Football Foundation, Inc.
Lacey Township High School (LTHS) was established in 1981 and budgeted for a Group I athletic program. LTHS started a varsity program in year one.
The 1981 LTHS Booster Club, made up of football parents but supported all athletic programs. Their primary source of revenue was the refreshment stand at football games.
In 1981 the Booster Club gave awards but was not permitted to support any equipment needs.
All athletic equipment and other athletic needs had to be budgeted by the school.
The Weight Club was permitted to fundraise and obtained all their equipment that way.
As the school grew so did the number of sports and activities. Athletic funding first became an issue in the late ‘80’s when budgets were cut by 10%.
In 1988, LTHS Superintendent Dr. Beirs allowed the band program to establish a parents’ club outside of the booster organization.
Shortly after the band program decision, LTHS Athletic Director John Gardi spearheaded an effort to allow all other sports programs to start fundraising organizations.
A Football Club was started and took care of minor fundraising to replace the items that had been cut in the program – T-shirts, shorts, professional clinics for coaches and a seasonal filmer.
A weight room was built in 1987 by LTHS.
The weight room equipment, provided from fundraising by Coach Vircillo and the Weight Club athletes, was also utilized as an activity station by the physical education classes.
The weight room was shut down by the State of NJ in 1994 for code violations.
In 1994 Coach Vircillo organized parents and business owners after meeting with and receiving permission from the Board of Education to raise money to renovate the building. This was the earliest work of the “Foundation”.
Due to the incredible community effort by parents and business owners, the renovated and remodeled building reopened the same year (1994).
In 1996 Coach Vircillo organized alumni and business people and incorporated the organization called the Lacey Football Foundation, Inc as a 501(c)(3) non-profit group to help support the needs of the athletic department. A meeting with the Lacey Board of Education permitted the newly formed Lacey Football Foundation to work in part for the needs of the district as they arose.
Rich Starodub, Superintendent of Schools, Lou Vircillo, Director of the Foundation and 86’ alumni Chris Supsie Esq., attended a workshop on educational foundations.
Over the future years budgets were cut three more times even though athletic programs and activities were growing. In the mid 1990’s the athletic director allowed the Booster Club to begin providing for athletic equipment, which they began to do.
The Football Foundation raised monies to support major funding for the football program including field equipment, technology, player-equipment and reconditioning.
The Foundation continued to grow to support many needs including facility needs.
As of 2018, The Lacey Football Foundation continues to make a difference through its funding efforts to improve athletic activities in the Township of Lacey.