BENNINGTON — Saving up for that special gift can take a lot of time and effort.
Over the past few months, the Bennington Marauders swim team have been working to raise the money to purchase a single lane scoreboard at their home pool, the Bennington Rec Center.
"We have been wanting a scoreboard for our home meets for awhile now," said Marauders coach Nicole Goswami. "It makes our meets seem more professional and help the meet move more efficiently. Not to mention, it would be pretty cool to have something with our team logo on it."
In total, the scoreboard costs roughly $6,000 and right now, the Marauders are a little less than $1,000 away. If the fund-raiser goes as well as last year, Goswami said they'll reach their goal soon.
Goswami helped the Marauders set up a fund-raiser through the pastry company Butter Braid.
The goal is for each swimmer and coaches to sell at least five items, but the team decided to make a competition out of it. The swimmer that sells the most receive a $25 gift card, while others among the top sellers on the team can win a variety of other prizes.
"I thought it be a good idea to make this a competition to help motivate our swimmers to sell more goods," Goswami said. "In my view, it really has motivated the kids to sell more, giving us a greater chance to reach our goal."
Goswami even up the ante by making a wager with her team that if any of them sold more then she did, that they would receive an even better prize then the gift card.
That will be tough to accomplish because Goswami, the Marauders coach for the past 12 years, isn't going down without a fight.
"This is a competition, so I am going all out to win," she said.
The Marauders club began in Bennington in 1986 and competes in a variety of swimming events year-round, starting with kids from age 4 to 18. Goswami recently started a Guppies program, which provides swimming lessons to beginners. Before Mount Anthony started its own swim team and became a varsity program in 2002, the Marauders were the only local option. Now, many swimmers compete year-round for both teams.
Last week, the Marauders competed in their first meet of their fall/winter season, at RPI in Troy, N.Y., and will compete in nine to 10 meets per season, all throughout the region. By the start of their spring-summer session, the Marauders hope to have the scoreboard up and running for the first home meet of the season.
The Marauders fund-raiser will run until December 1, and products will start being delivered around the 14th.
In the pool, the team's next meet will be the December Super Splash tournament on December 6 at Union College in Schenectady.