Archive for Thursday, October 20, 2005

PTA to begin sweet new fundraiser next week

October 20, 2005

Lansing's Parent-Teacher Association is diving right into a new fundraising project this year, despite the initial reservations of its president.

For two weeks beginning Oct. 24, students from Lansing Elementary and Intermediate schools will collect orders for food products from Red Wheel Fund Raising, a company that distributes to most of the Midwest and Florida.

The PTA is switching to the Red Wheel fundraiser from the gift-wrap and trinket sale used in the past. PTA president Robin Goebel said the PTA's gift wrap fundraiser was "fairly successful," raising $10,000 to $12,000 for the group each year, but it competed with a nearly identical one held by the Lansing Middle School Student Council at the beginning of every year. Goebel said the Red Wheel fundraiser idea came from LES principal Tim Newton, who knew of Red Wheel from one of his previous schools.

Goebel said she was hesitant to accept a food fundraiser at first.

"I had visions of spoiled truckloads of food," she said.

However, she said she was won over when a Red Wheel representative from St. Joseph, Mo., brought samples to the PTA's watermelon feed at the beginning of the year. Red Wheel offers coffee, desserts, bread batter and frozen foods such as pizza, burritos, egg rolls and mini tacos. Goebel said she had already discovered a favorite product.

"The peanut-butter cup pie is the best," she said.

Goebel said students would take orders and money from Oct. 24 through Nov. 7, and the food will arrive in a refrigerated truck after school on Nov. 14. Students and their parents will pick up their orders, tentatively from LES, and make the deliveries.

Lansing PTA raises money to provide extra services to students in preschool through fifth grade. One of its biggest expenses is providing busing for a field trip for every grade. With the higher price of gas this year, Goebel said, the PTA will have to raise more money. She said a representative with Red Wheel estimated that the group could earn $23,000 if each student sells 10 items.

"That'll be plenty for all of our bus trips this year," she said.

Though Goebel said she didn't expect every student to sell that much, "I'm really optimistic" about the fundraiser's potential, she said.

Whatever money the group raises will go into its general fund, which pays not only for busing but also for Bingo night, a talent show, presentations that come to the schools such as Buck O'Neil, and other projects.

The food sale is the PTA's second fundraiser this year. In September, the group sold entertainment books. The sale didn't do as well this year as it did last year, Goebel said, earning only $5,000, compared to $7,500 last year.

PTA members will scarcely have time to take a breath after the Red Wheel fundraiser before beginning another project. The organization will hold a book fair at Lansing Elementary School beginning Nov. 17.

In December, the PTA will put on a Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 17, featuring pancakes and Santa's Workshop, a store for students to buy small gifts for family members.

"And then we'll get a break," Goebel said.

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