Edited By: President, Courtney Wilkins, and the Above the Rim Board
“It’s okay to shoot for mediocre, but we were just looking for a different avenue to offer our kids something other than mediocre. We are wanting to set the bar high and give the kids more than what they need because we think they deserve more.” - Above the Rim President, Courtney Wilkins
Above The Rim Parent Support Group originated from a group of parents, grandparents, and community members from Lamar who wanted to show additional financial support to basketball and other sports programs in the community. In 2021 when the Lamar Lady Warriors made a run at the 3A-5 state tournament, several individuals noticed the need to give the students immediate support. Parents, grandparents, and community members rallied together to collect funds for snacks, meals, and pep buses to allow as many students as possible to experience this exciting time in school history.
Since this time, the support group has gained tremendous momentum with other parents and local business owners throughout the county becoming active participants. With this momentum, the group has completed several fundraisers including a golf tournament, a 5k run, and a VIP Parking pass auction to raise funds to donate snacks, meals, and gear for the basketball and cross-country teams. Several other plans are in the works so that additional monetary contributions can be made to the basketball programs and other community sports programs.
I got the chance to sit down with secretary, Sherry Boen, and I also got the chance to chat with the president, Courtney Wilkins on the phone for a few minutes about Above the Rim and the vision they have for the future of their group.
Sherry Boen said, “Our intentions are that if the team or coaches want something or need something, we can help them.” Courtney said, “What we are doing is all for the benefit of the kids. We are trying to do is help build and maintain above-average programs for the kids in Lamar. We want to invest in them and help provide opportunities that they may not normally get.” Sherry added, “everyone in this community has been so wonderful to step up and donate meals and help with sponsorships for our fundraisers.”
Outside of fundraisers, Above The Rim has picked up many donations from individuals outside of the basketball community because they are impressed with their mission and direction this group is going and wants to see them succeed.
Courtney shared, “in the big picture, we are looking for different ways that we can pull community partners in and assist in many different ways throughout the community, not just with athletics, but academics too.”
Above The Rim is in the early stages of development as an organized group, but they have big goals all orbiting around the student athletes in the Lamar community. This group is a direct example of what happens when a community can come together and fit needs as they arise. If you or anyone that you know is interested in donating to, being a part of, or becoming involved in Above The Rim, check out their Facebook page or reach out to a board member.
Courtney Wilkins- President
Deana Cowell- Vice President
Ashley Baars- Secretary
Sherry Boen- Treasurer
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After her time at the University of the Ozarks, Abby Asencio graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She now works as our Community Relations Director, continuing to connect our community.