Mustangs blitz to raise money

Costa Mesa athletes team up and ask community to help school's sports programs.

June 06, 2013|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

COSTA MESA — During the fall, winter and spring, Mason Tufuga is a busy kid. You will find him either on a football field, a basketball court or a baseball diamond at Costa Mesa High.

On Wednesday night, he showed up to campus with his football jersey on. Instead of making his way onto the field, he hit the streets.

Tufuga joined 50 of his Costa Mesa High football teammates, 32 girls that cheer for the Mustangs during Friday night games, and half a dozen Costa Mesa Middle School basketball players to raise money for their respective programs.


In groups of four, they went door to door in the neighborhoods in Costa Mesa's school zone. The players and cheerleaders came with a script, one that they memorized. Their goal was to talk to neighbors and identify those who can support Costa Mesa's athletic programs.

"Yeah, it was kind of awkward," Tufuga, a freshman, said of knocking on doors and asking for donations. "I just put in some personality."

And just like that, Tufuga and his group got one person to give $100. When they returned to campus, they came with $234, the third-best total out of all the teams.

The high school year might be ending this month, but Costa Mesa's football and cheer programs launched a successful fundraising method, with the help of the middle school basketball team. Katrina Foley, a Mustangs booster, said the groups raised $3,411.99 in a little more than an hour.

Foley, whose two sons, Sam and Ben Swanson, will be 10th- and eighth-graders at the high school and middle school next school year, initiated the event. Foley said the event raised funds for team room lockers, football's new grade-point average rewards incentive program, which she created, travel for cheer competitions and camps, and equipment and uniforms for middle school athletics.

"I used my political skills of walking neighborhoods and applied them to raise money for the Mesa team," said Foley, who served on the Costa Mesa City Council before becoming the Newport-Mesa Unified School District trustee.

"We have limited resources and I'm trying to help the program create opportunities for fundraising that don't require you spending money, and also to build support in the community for all of our teams."

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