(Posted May 12, 2020)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Wheels started turning during a recent conversation between London Mayor Patrick Closser and business owner Tom Coughlin of Coughlin Automotive.
The two were talking about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on London City Schools. At one point, the conversation turned to the cancellation of the spring sports season and what that might mean for coaches’ paychecks.
“Our concern was that these coaches looked forward to that extra money and, in some cases, may need the money during these hard economic times,” Closser said.
Closser contacted Dr. Lou Kramer, superintendent of London City Schools, to ask about the district’s plans for the spring coaching contracts. Kramer said plans had not been finalized but the main option under consideration was to pay out the contracts at 50 percent.
At full pay, the spring coaching contracts amount to a total of $28,525. Closser called Coughlin who, he said, immediately offered to cover a quarter of the cost if Closser could find another donor to cover another quarter of the cost.
“My first call was to Josh Alcott at BST Trucking,” Closser said.
In the end, Coughlin and Alcott each donated $7,131.25. The combined total of $14,262.50 covers half of the total spring coaching contract costs.
“This was very unexpected and a very pleasant surprise. I’m absolutely certain it will be appreciated by our coaches,” Kramer said. “This is a wonderful example of folks stepping up in a very unusual time and being really considerate of others.”
Kramer said the school district will pay coaches the other half of their contracts so that they receive full pay for this season.
“I just wanted to help others during these times. We get back what we give in life,” Coughlin said.
“BST has always been a supporter of our community schools, especially now. We wanted to continue this tradition during these tough times,” Alcott said.
Closser plans to present the checks virtually during tonight’s school board meeting which will be streamed live at 6:30 p.m. Go to London School Board for a link to the live stream.
“We are a strong community, and when things are tough, we pull together to get through. This gesture shows that in so many ways,” Closser said.