A group of alumni seeks to change sports funding at Malvern.
The Friar Club is a new, centralized group of benefactors who will fund sports at Malvern starting this year.
“The Friar Club hopes to be a communication and logistics hub for the various athletic programs, boosters, and friends of Malvern Prep,” President of The Friar Club Eric Moore ’02 said.
A committee of Malvern alumni will run The Friar Club, Athletic Director Mr. Kurt Ruch said.
The Friar Club hopes to organize athletic funding in a new way.
Prior to The Friar Club, each sports team would have to fundraise on its own, Ruch said. “There wasn’t really one [central club] in stone or organized.”
“The Friar Club will implement a membership structure which was modeled after successful collegiate athletic fundraising programs,” Moore said. “There will be annual membership due, which will go directly into a general athletic fund.”
Moore and Harmatuk described the details of membership within the club.
“The first 50 dollars you donate will go to the athletic department as a whole,” Head Basketball Coach and Assistant Athletic Director Mr. John Harmatuk said. “Any money you donate after that as a member of the Friar Club can go to whatever sport(s) you want.
“After the dues, members will then have the option of donating additional money in order to reach greater membership benefit levels,” Moore said. Malvern Prep merchandise, event invitations, and VIP treatment were some of the greater benefits Moore listed.
How is the funding distributed?
“Friar Club members will have the option to donate to the athletic program of their choosing, so inevitably, some sports will receive more funding than others,” Moore said. “However, the general athletic fund was established in order to offset some of the imbalance and allow for discretion of funds on an ‘as needed’ basis.”
The Friar Club has said that they will be actively involved with sports fundraisers going forward, although the group has not organized a fundraiser yet, according to Moore.
The Friar Club expects increased funding for all sports, and that athletic facilities, strength and conditioning, and athletic training will benefit, Moore said.
However, Head of School Mr. Christian Talbot explained that Malvern does not offer athletic scholarships, and these would not be funded by The Friar’s Club. “We only offer academic merit scholarships,” Talbot said. “There is a persistent and false rumor that we offer athletic scholarships.”
The Friar Club hopes to be more than just a fundraising entity.
“Our main objectives include enhancing alumni involvement in the athletic programs and improving the ‘gameday’ experience for everyone,” Moore said.
Harmatuk summed up the impact he hopes the group will have. “It’s just going to help us support athletics in any way they can,” he said. “It is just going to bring everyone together inside of athletics.”