Prelude to NHS's football opener will serve many functions ahead of school year

With a home football game scheduled prior to Labor Day and the start of classes next week, Newberg High School originally envisioned Friday's Tiger Tailgate as way to both build support for the team and new coach Kevin Hastin and as a kickoff party to celebrate the new school year.

Since then, it has expanded in scope and will check off a few more boxes when it gets underway at 5 p.m. in the area around the football field.

That includes working together with the Newberg Booster Club, who recently elected new leadership and are eager to connect with parents and students, so they brought in the La Cocina and Wiki Wiki Weenie food trucks.

The largest parent group at the high school was eager to help out when the idea emerged to utilize the event to support the recently-expanded resource room, which will be run by parent volunteers to provide students with needed school supplies, clothing and food throughout the school year.

In addition to the booster club donating half of the proceeds from concessions that night to the project, Tiger Tailgate will also feature a "Stuff the Bus" resource drive to build up its inventory.

The school has identified new or gently-used backpacks as the greatest need, so those who donate one will receive a free ticket to the 7 p.m. game versus Barlow. Other priority items include pens, pencils, notecards, three-inch binders, dividers and composition notebooks.

The booster club has also arranged for local musician Nate Macy to DJ the event and will provide lawn games and activities for families and students to engage in as they meet with teachers and staff in an informal setting.

NHS Activities Director Mark Brown said the celebratory atmosphere will be especially helpful for fostering connections, as the event is also replacing the school's traditional "Back to School" night.

"Back to School Night kind of becomes kind of just walking around," Brown said. "So we wanted it to be more of an event and more of a cultural thing: Let's have fun, let's put on something people will enjoy."

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