Musician Dan Reisen plays next to a display of auction items during the fifth annual Indiana Cabin Fever held at Woodland Park in Portage, Ind. The event benefits the Portage High School athletic program. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 15, 2013 10:54AM
Woodland Park’s Sycamore Room was filled with food, fun and fellowship as the community gathered for the fifth annual Indiana Cabin Fever to benefit Portage High School’s athletic program on Feb. 23.
Athletics programs in Indiana schools must be self-supporting by state law, so PHS designed the event to supplement monies raised by ticket sales.
“From last year’s profits, we purchased weightlifting equipment for all 22 sports, shooting machines for the basketball program, lane ropes and flag stanchions for the swim program, updated the wrestling room and put $5,000 aside for unbudgeted items,” said Kelly Bermes, athletic director. “We plan to put aside $5,000 each year, as long as we are able. The community has been wonderfully supportive.”
The Cabin Fever Committee begins planning for the next year’s event virtually as soon as one year’s is completed.
“I can’t thank them all enough,” Bermes said. “Edna Elwood and Glenda Dixon put all the baskets together. Barb and Cindy Simmons headed up the kitchen committee that put on this fantastic spread. They’ve been cooking for the last 15 hours. Donna Johnson has done so much. Everyone on the committee all put in so much time, and the Booster Club has been great, too. It takes so much time and effort to accomplish all this.”
“All this” included more than 65 ticket drop baskets, in which people would purchase tickets and drop their tickets in the bag of the items for which they wanted to take a chance; more than 45 silent auction items; and a selection of live auction items.
“So many people have been out soliciting and securing auction items,” Bermes said. “We have a really nice selection this year. More baskets and lots of different items.”
Musician Dan Reisen, a fourth-grade teacher at South Haven Elementary School, provided live music again this year. He sang and played acoustic guitar.
Each table was decorated with a Portage Spirit Snowman. These were the creation of sisters Deb Broom, a PHS teacher, and Barbi Chandler, mother of athletes Zack and Nick, and treasurer of ROTC Boosters and football boosters.
“We made 75 of them,” Broom said. “We needed 55 for the tables and have 20 to sell. We are suggesting a $20 donation, and all the money is going to Cabin Fever. If people would like to purchase one, they can contact me at my school email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
“This year, I’d like to use some of the money raised to purchase a new flag for the main gym,” Bermes said. “I’d like to get a large one that hangs from the ceiling. Then I’ll poll the coaches to see what they think their programs need. It’s all to benefit the kids.”