WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A football game can often bring a community together, and a community behind the scenes is making sure football and other sports programs can keep going despite the down economy.
On a typical Friday night at Laney High School the band, the cheerleaders, and the football team prepare for a night under the lights.
But what's going on off the field is what makes Friday nights so special.
"We've had to step up in the boosters to sell more hotdogs and sell more Cokes to raise a little more money to help subsidize what the county has cut," said volunteer Eddie Parker.
Parker has been volunteering with the Laney Booster Club for nearly 30 years. He helped build one of the concession stands from the ground up.
This year, club members have more work to do with school budget cuts and the economy affecting so many families, volunteer groups are putting in overtime to help students.
"We have a few kids in the band that the boosters are helping to support by buying stuff they need so that they can be in the band, otherwise there would be no way for them to be in the band," said volunteer Patrick Nolen.
Volunteers keep the band marching forward in these tough times, raising enough money to pay for competitions and transportation.
They may never see a play, but with every order of nachos and bottle of soda they sell, these men and women keep the game going.
"If I didn't do it, the kids would lose out and I just hate to see them do without," said Parker.
According to members of the athletic booster club, they provide an average of more than $20,000 to support sports programs at Laney each year.