Shane Victorino knows this, having come up as a sports star in the Aloha State. That's why when he saw that the Hawaii High School Athletic Association, pressed by budget cuts, was looking to solicit private citizens and corporations for $1.2 million in funds rather than ask students to pay fees, he cut a check for $10,000, according to The New York Times.
The $1.2 million only represents half of the cut the state made to the athletic budget for Hawaii's 25,000 students. Without covering that total, it's not just a matter of not having new uniforms or supplies, but simple logistics:
Camie Kimball, the athletic director at Molokai High School, a public school with about 330 students in grades 9 through 12, said sports teams usually must ride a ferry to Maui. The ride takes about 1 hour 45 minutes each way, and Kimball said the round-trip fare ran from $80 to $105 per student.
Naturally, in this economy, Hawaii isn't the only state facing such slashes, but it might have a tougher time making do with such decreases than others. And with the $1.2 million drive having produced about $700,000 so far, a few more Shane Victorinos are going to have to step forward to stave off requests to have students to pay their own way--a request that might be difficult to take in areas such as Molokai, where the current unemployment rate is about 16 percent.
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.