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Lack of volunteers may kill Havre basketball program

In a small town it's hard to keep kids busy. That is why activities like youth sports programs are so vital to a community like Havre.

And one of the things that makes a youth sports program successful is the volunteers who come forward unselfishly for the good of children.

Now one of Havre's top youth sports programs is in jeopardy of ceasing to exist because of a shortage of volunteer help. The Havre Youth Basketball Program is in need of volunteers to serve on the board of directors for the upcoming school year, and if volunteers are not found soon, former board member Missy Boucher said, the program will have to be set aside for at least this year.

"We need at least five volunteers to serve on our board or we will not be able to have a basketball season," Boucher said. "The reason for the board is the schools will not open up gym space without an acting board to supervise the program."

And no gym space obviously means no basketball. The basketball association is a nonprofit organization, and the program, which began several years ago as part of the AmeriCorps program, needs a five-member board to serve for the 2003-2204 season.

The girls season is set to begin in September and would run through the end of November. The boys season is scheduled to start in December and would run through early February.

"The reason we are in need of new board members is because the current board now has kids that are in high school," Boucher said. "And we will have to focus our attention on our kids as parents."

Boucher and her husband have served on the board for a year, and Kraig VanVoast and Sue Waite have both been members for the last three years. Last season the board served 66 girls and 98 boys.

Duties for board members include, but are not limited to, organizing teams, finding volunteer coaches, team sponsors and referees, and opening and cleaning the gyms.

Board members must sign up to serve for both the girls and boys seasons. Anyone wishing to inquire about a position can mail a letter to Havre Youth Basketball, P.O. Box 231, Havre MT 59501. The deadline for the association to form a board is next Friday.


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