Our Mission: To promote the interests and achievements of youth in Crawford County, Michigan
Our non-profit organization started in 1971 and has grown to include 16 board members, 220 community members and donations in excess of $2 million back to the youth of Grayling, Crawford County and Crawford AuSable Schools.
The Booster Club was born in 1971 when a local student was looking for some help getting to basketball camp. He asked for a donation from one of the local service organizations and had been turned down. When Jim Bendig and Irv McIsaac heard of this need they took out a personal loan of $1,000, but instead of sending one boy to camp, they sent the whole team. The loan was paid off in 60 days from the sale of 50/50 tickets by some of the better salesmen in Grayling. The entire project was so successful, the men decided to form a club to raise money for youth athletics. Jim Bendig was the first president.
Charging a membership fee of $5 and yearly dues of $3, the Grayling Athletic Booster Club grew in membership and the continued sale of 50/50 tickets enabled it to make money and spend it on local kids.
Shortly after its inception, the club started a booster bingo program that soon became the mainstay of its fundraisers. For many years Harry Miller donated his Tuesday nights overseeing the bingo program.
A few years later the scope of the club changed from solely athletic donations to being a general youth booster club. Every penny is and has been spent with the best interest of local kids in mind and no child in the community has been untouched by its generosity.
Grayling Booster Club founding fathers Jim Bendig (left) and Irv McIsaac (right).
As a 501(c)3 organization one of our primary goals is to raise funds supporting a variety of youth initiatives throughout the Crawford County community. Some of our main events are the Blizzardfest in February, Summer Fling Golf Outing in June and Boosterpalooza in August.
The GYBC promotes all youth activities and organizations in the community. For more information on what opportunities are available for youth in our area, visit our directory of local organizations. We have provided funding to over 40 youth and community organizations over the years.