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Park Board Laments Loss of Sam's Club Sponsorship

The $3,700 sponsorship would have benefited the youth soccer program this fall.

The learned Monday night that a sponsorship offered by Sam's Club for the youth soccer program had to be declined.

Recreation Superintendent Dottie Phillips explained that the sponsorship, which would have amounted to about $3,700, would have allowed the Sam's Club logo to appear on the back of the soccer shirts, on the trophies and banners on the fields. Sam's Club would also have provided "Soccer Mom" and "Soccer Dad" shirts for the parents.

Sam's Club was particularly interested in the soccer program because it coincided with the store's opening, Phillips said.

Last week, however, Sam's Club asked for a signed contract for the sponsorship, and that was a game-changer.

"We don't have the time we need to get things in place," Phillips said. "The deadline (for the soccer program) was today."

City policy requires contracts to go through the procurement department, the city attorney and then to the board of aldermen for a vote. The question was also raised if the sponsorship opportunity would have had to be made available to other businesses.

Parks and Recreation Director Mary Jo Dessieux said, "I am positive the city will put into place the avenues we need to accept offers like this."

Ward 1 Alderman Forrest Gossett, the Board of Aldermen liaison to the Park Board, defended the city's policies on contracts. There was "no malicious intent," he said. "We're just trying to keep us from getting in a pickle. I don't want to circumvent our processes."

"There is a lot of difference between what the city has to do when purchasing rather than (accepting) sponsorships," said Parks Board President Gloria Ehll. "I don't see how one is like the other."

Ray Antonacci September 12, 2012 at 02:18 PM
It's a shame the parks department and the soccer players lost out on Sam's Club sponsorship. I think it's fair, though, that Sam's Club ask for a contract. $3,700 may not be a lot of money in terms of the Sam's Club empire but multiplied over the whole country it begins to add up. Sam's has policies in place to protect themselves from fraud. I know our parks department will do what they say they will do but others may not. I hope next year that the parks department will be ready with a contract and try again. I have some experience with collecting donations and sponsorships. Wal Mart and Sam's have always been good neighbors and invloved in their community.
DAV September 13, 2012 at 11:34 AM
I agree. If I am reading this correctly, the parks dept. dropped the ball here (no pun intended) by not being able to process the paperwork in a timely manner. If that is the case I question the management of that department for not having a process in place to get that done. Since we have lived here we have signed up for youth soccer twice and both times we received refund checks because the dept. couldn't organize enough teams. This really is a shame. It's things like this that makes Wentzville look like some sort of 'backwoods' town. I guess we'll be playing soccer in LSL or O'Fallon again next year.
Tamara Duncan September 13, 2012 at 02:03 PM
DAV, I think park staffers did all they could. Everything seemed to be in place for the sponsorship to happen, but when Sam's needed a contract signed, the dollar amount required city policy to kick in and procedure had to be followed.
DAV September 15, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Tamara, thanks for the clarification. So it's city business as usual...bogged down by the redtape of process and procedure. And over $3,700...ridiculous!!

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