Christi Regan knows what it’s like to be new to Oak Park. It wasn’t that long ago when she and her family moved in, and Regan, the designated “volunteer parent,” was searching for ways to get involved and get to know more people, especially through her daughters’ new school, Oak Park and River Forest High School.
“We didn’t know a soul, not one person,” Regan recalled, adding she mostly relied on the high school’s emails and website for information on events, resources and other news.
She came across an email about a meeting of the Huskie Booster Club, a volunteer parent organization that raises funds to support the academic programs and activities at OPRF. Regan, who now chairs the club’s membership committee, said her first brush with the club was a turning point in opening the door to OPRF and meeting other families. Now she wants to encourage people to sign up and become a club member.
The Huskie Booster Club is hosting an event from 6 to 9 p.m. on Aug. 17 at Cheney Mansion, 220 N. Euclid Ave. in Oak Park. Regan described the event as an “open house-style kickoff” for adults only, including parents and guardians of OPRF students, alumni, faculty and staff. The evening offers complimentary food, drink and entertainment.
“Buy your membership. Buy new spirit gear. Have a snack. Have a cool drink. Talk to your parent friends that you haven’t seen all summer,” Regan said.
The club’s annual membership fee of $25 comes with discounted passes to athletic and performing arts events. More information on membership options and the Huskie Booster Club Kickoff can be found online at www.huskieboosterclub.org.
The booster club is about caring, Regan said. The nonprofit, which has served OPRF for 50 years, draws parents and community members who want to make sure students have what they need to succeed.
Last year, the club donated $40,000 to various OPRF programs, she said. That included new sewing machines for the Family and Consumer Sciences Department, batches of new rice cookers for students in Japanese Club, new equipment for the girls soccer team and new microphones for the Theater Department.
“That was coming right off of COVID year,” she said. “We were pretty excited to be able to do that, to sort of get everybody going again.”
With the new school year soon to begin, Regan took a moment to reflect on what the club means to her and what those who join can expect. The booster club is committed to celebrating the “4A’s,” she noted, student academics, activities, arts and athletics. Aside from that, its role is to tie the community together.
“It’s been a great parent networking opportunity,” Regan said. “Many of us have not only formed friendships, but there’s been career opportunities — just so much. I even sub at the school now because I love being there.
“Our community is vast, and so something like the booster club is a great way to bring in people to network and mingle.”