COOPERSTOWN _ The classes of 2009 and 2010 at Cooperstown Central School worked the pre-game crowd at Monday's Hall of Fame game, selling hot dogs, drinks and ice cream, trying to save up money for senior trips to New York and Washington.
``I feel sorry for the classes that come after us,'' said Laura Derouin, president of the class of 2009 and one of many students helping at the booths in Doubleday parking lot.
``The Hall of Fame game is one of our biggest fundraisers and it's going to be hard to replace it. Some years when it rains and the classes don't make much money, they have to cut back on their trips.''
As Derouin was speaking, the skies were threatening, and not a half hour later, a crowd of about 10,000 was sent scurrying for shelter. The thunderheads passed and people reappeared in raincoats, just to be chased away minutes later in another downpour that would cancel the final Hall of Fame game.
From the school's perspective, Principal Gary Kuch said recently, rain has always been a danger at these games played outside at Doubleday Field.
In a good year, classes can clear more than $10,000, and in a bad year they barely break even. To help their odds, the school has allowed two classes to manage the concessions each year, giving them two chances at fair weather.
That ends after Major League Baseball's decision this year to cancel the annual exhibition game, a series that dates back to 1940.
With the money, the students take an extended trip to the nation's capital and a day trip to New York City, Derouin said.
``We have other fundraisers, too, but this is probably our biggest,'' she said.
The classes also sell food during the Hall's Induction Weekend.
Marge Schleining, a French teacher and class adviser who was helping Monday, said, ``It wasn't a complete surprise, but this saddens us.''
Kuch, and class adviser Jennifer Pindar, a history teacher, said that running the concession stands has benefited students in ways other than making money.
``They work together and learn how to manage a project like this,'' she said, adding that the annual event has brought parents, students and staff together."
``It's really too bad it's over,'' she said.