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Fundraisers get practical: Old methods not working


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Whiteland Community High School band boosters president Mark Mowery stands next to a promotion at the school. Mowery is working with a mattress company to sell mattresses as a fundraiser for the schools band program.
PHOTO BY SCOTT ROBERSON
Whiteland Community High School band boosters president Mark Mowery stands next to a promotion at the school. Mowery is working with a mattress company to sell mattresses as a fundraiser for the schools band program. PHOTO BY SCOTT ROBERSON


Help support your high school band by buying a new mattress.

The post-prom in Greenwood will benefit if you buy a Thanksgiving pie from the committee.

Indian Creek parents can win a raffle for beef; youth sports groups in Greenwood make money when you buy their trash bags.

School organizations are getting creative with their fundraising efforts, citing a poor economy and competition from other schools as reasons why fundraising has taken an unusual turn.

Students with booklets peddling sausage and cheese and tins of candy slowly have made their way out of group’s fundraising plans in a push to make fundraising more practical for consumers, Greenwood Community High School assistant principal Todd Garrison said.

“I think the traditional cheese and sausage that have been used in the past just aren’t making the funds anymore,” he said. “It has been a market that has slowed down.”

Organizations have begun looking for other ways to raise money for band fees, athletics uniforms and post-prom trips.

School organizations across the county partner with area restaurants for events that allow a group to keep part of the proceeds from the restaurant on a certain evening.

Brave Backers, Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson Schools’ athletics booster club, is raffling off half a cow.

“With the economy the way it is right now, you will be getting something to feed your family,” said Susie Morrison, Indian Creek athletics booster president.

Families are saturated with fundraisers, and other schools have put on golf outings, which had been a popular fundraiser for the group, Morrison said.

Raffling off half a cow stands out.

“We try to think about what will be more beneficial,” Morrison said. “We’ve always tried to think about that.”

At least two bands in the county sell mattresses as a fundraiser.

Whiteland’s band boosters is having its second mattress fundraiser this month. The first one raised just a sliver of the club’s $80,000 operating budget that helps kids with band fees.

But that is a start, said Mark Mowery, president of the band boosters at Whiteland Community High School.

“We are always out there trying to find a fundraiser that will draw people in but will also be different,” he said.

And practical fundraisers that take little work and money up front are popular, Mowery and Garrison said.

Students and parents don’t have to go door-to-door to help sell mattresses, pies or raffle tickets for beef.

Greenwood’s post-prom committee is selling pies in the weeks before Thanksgiving in hopes that people will buy a pie from them for their holiday meal.

The fundraiser has become a tradition in Greenwood, with staff and residents buying pies for their Thanksgiving dinner, Garrison said.

Residents will still spend $20 on cookie dough, but they are always looking for something more practical that they would use and need in a fundraiser, Garrison said.

“More practical products are popular and selling better,” he said.

And word of the practical fundraising gets around to residents, he said. When people need a mattress, he has heard of them waiting until Greenwood Band Boosters has its annual mattress sale, he said.

“Buying trash bags and mattresses and going out to dinner, that is something people are doing anyway,” Garrison said.

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