Anna Bea Heise
Bulldogs and Hotdogs has been a tradition on campus now for over 20 years as it has become a well-known event that gives students the opportunity to explore the wide variety of clubs and organizations available to students. This annual event has been utilized by any and all booster clubs offered at Bowie as a way to get exposure and raise money by selling a variety of items, such as t-shirts, accessories, snacks, and games to play.
“The boosters do a great job providing fun activities for all ages,” Parent, Teacher, Student, Association (PTSA) co-chair Stacy Ankele said. “Of course the pep rally brings lots of families and fun. There is no better place to find a huge selection of Bowie merch to show your Bulldog spirit, and know that you are supporting great organizations of all kinds on campus.”
Ankele helps lead the PTSA, along with Laura Williams Bond, as they work together to support the Bowie community through fundraising and facilitating events to provide exposure to the multiple groups that make up the school.
“Planning for [Bulldogs and Hotdogs] starts in the previous spring,” Bond said. “This year we waited a bit as we didn’t know what would happen with COVID-19. The PTSA coordinated with Mr. Robinson in May to select a date so we could start planning in earnest. We discussed multiple versions of the event based on changing restrictions, including a potential drive thru event and 100% virtual. We were thrilled to get district approval for our all-outdoor event two weeks prior to the event.”
During virtual school last year, Bulldogs and Hotdogs was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to limiting the spread of COVID, the PTSA also had to work around construction at Bowie.
“Due to COVID-19, we made this event 100% outside,” Williams said. “We had been looking forward to showcasing Bowie’s new gym, but holding the pep rally in the front parking lot worked really well. We spread out and used all of the courtyard and all of the breezeway this year. Construction work created some challenges with accessing electrical outlets, but our amazing booster clubs made it all work.”
Senior Danny Rodriguez participated in the dunk tank which served as a fundraiser for the baseball team.
“At the end of the day, all that money is going to help out the baseball team and me, so why not help out,” Rodriguez said.
Being able to work around these circumstances allowed booster clubs to return to a sense of normalcy and raise money for their clubs, like the Class Council for the graduating class of 2022.
“The turnout was better than we thought it would be,” Class Council teacher sponsor Kris Grandinetti-Johnson said. “We sold a lot of t-shirts and class yard signs. It was good, and helped us raise a good bit of money.”
Each graduating class has a class council dedicated to organizing fundraising events beginning their freshman year up until their graduation during their senior year. The point of these councils is to raise money for class events, with their senior prom being the priority. Utilization of this event allows for them to sell merchandise to raise this money.
“So our class has been really wonky because COVID just hit at a really, really wonky time,” Grandinetti-Johnson said. “A couple years back we wanted to sell a class t-shirt that was just for like the senior class of 2022 so we had a white shirt made. Then, we also had some other shirts made that would just be kind of generic that everybody could buy. So that was what we were intent on having, like a class t-shirt and then some regular just Bulldogs, spirit wear.”
Grandinetti-Johnson was one of the many people observing the crowd rather than participating as she had to run her club’s booth.
“It was actually kind of fun,” Grandinetti-Johnson said when explaining what it was like to run her booth. “It was super hectic. It was busy, but you get to see a lot of people, especially after all of this time, to see a lot of people we haven’t necessarily seen so it was good, and kind of fast-paced, and kept you going.”