Jeff Frum, a Lake Forest resident, sent Lake Forest Patch the following letter to the editor:
My name is Jeff Frum and my wife and I have 6 children - my two oldest sons recently graduated from ET and both played football, my daughter is a junior at ET, I have a son at Serrano and two adopted sons at Portola Hills Elementary where my wife and I have led the Olympic Dayfundraiser for the past 10 years raising over $400,000 for the school.
I am a former President of the ET Football Boosters and have 8 years’ experience coaching Pop Warner youth football in Lake Forest.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to voice my support of the El Toro Bleacher and Lighting Improvement Project.
I offer you a glimpse into the logistics of “Game Days” for Football at TH:
- Access to Trabuco is restricted during the school week and on game days until all school activities have concluded or when Trabuco employees are available to assist often requiring volunteers to scramble to set up before crowds arrive.
- Our Snack bar needs to be set up and broken down EACH week transporting hundreds of pounds of drinks, ice, food, and equipment including tables, tents and lighting. Storage during the week at Trabuco is limited and not secure.
- Our boys require a team room to dress out for games and to huddle at half-time and aftergames. The options for a team room at our “Home” field consist of an unsecured girl’s lockerroom or a grossly neglected portable.
- A minimum of 8 district school buses are required to transport the football team, cheerleaders, and marching band EACH week requiring earlier dismissal from school and the commitment of parent volunteers to leave work early to set up the stadium for our “Home” games.
- I have had dozens of conversations with families whose sons I’ve coached in Pop Warner when presented with a choice in our open school district many choose TH, MV or LH because of their facilities. The dream of every young player is to be a star under the Friday night lights ON their high school campus.
- My youth football players HAVE been exposed to Friday nights at Trabuco for El Toro “Home” games and it’s pretty clear the temporary feeling you get as visitors at our home field.
- Home games at El Toro would increase traffic at Lake Forest’s restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores increasing tax revenue for our great city.
- I would think, that investing redevelopment funds to upgrade El Toro would favorably impact operating budgets at the district, El Toro, AND with families as we would eliminate unnecessary bus rentals, fuel costs, reduce emissions from those buses and our cars, while positively impacting productivity for the hundreds of affected families of El Toro students.
In conclusion I would like to emphasize that the future of our great city IS our children. Our focus SHOULD be about investing in the next generation and I applaud SVUSD for offering up this bleacher and lighting improvement project. It is a worthy investment into keeping our neighborhoods vibrant and I strongly encourage you to communicate your support for this project. El Toro IS the only high school of the ten public schools in South County without lights and this project would bring our Chargers into competitive balance for years to come. Thank You!