Fundraiser to help students
Shepherdstown Elementary parents have organized a fundraiser to help provide new library books and other learning materials for the school.
Barbara Kandalis, a member of the Shepherdstown Elementary Association’s fundraising committee has taken the lead on a rewards card fundraiser for the past five years.
Kandalis explained that each year the fundraiser has a new focus based on the school’s changing needs.
“This year they need books for the library so all the money will go toward that,” she said.
According to elementary school Principal Dr. Suzanne Offutt, the fundraiser’s proceeds will also go toward purchasing new technology for the school this year.
“This is one of the major fundraisers that the SEA does,'” she said.
Offutt explained that the first priority each year is playground equipment, followed by technology and then classroom and library books.
Offutt explained that after purchasing new equipment last year, the priority has shifted to technology for the school’s iPad lab and both library and classroom sets of books.
“It’s an expensive undertaking,” she said.
According to Kandalis the fundraiser is a competition between students to see who can sell the most reward cards.
The cards offer discounts on purchases and services at various local restaurants and businesses, including Video Den, Refinements, Cutting Class, Plum and many more.
Last year students sold around 300 cards, Kandalis said and raised approximately $2,500 for the playground.
This year the students who sell the most will be rewarded with a limo ride and lunch at Chick-Fil-A in Ranson.
Students sell cards from December though February each year, with almost 90 percent of the proceeds collected from the $10 cards going toward the school.
Phil Mastrangelo, owner of Mellow Moods Cafe, said that he has participated in the fundraiser for the past five years and thinks it’s great.
“It’s a good community thing,” he said.
Mastrangelo said it’s unique because it encourages the kids to go out into the community and get to know local businesses and because it provides deals for locals.
Laura Turman, owner of One Two Kangaroo, also participates in the reward card fundraiser and said she thinks it creates a link between school and town.
“There are a lot of parents who own businesses downtown,” she said.
Turman has participated in the rewards card fundraiser as well as other fundraisers for the school, going as far as to quietly donate a percentage of a day’s sales directly to the school.
Turman said that she thinks that fundraisers that involve the whole community help everyone.
Kandalis said she likes the reward card fundraiser because it is an opportunity to support both the elementary school and local businesses.
“We try to keep it local because all the businesses in the town do so much for the elementary school,”Kandalis said.
She went on to say that it is especially important in tougher economic times.
“It helps bring them business,” she said.
Kandalis said that the fundraiser is special because it offers something for parents and students.
“We try to do fundraisers that will help parents all year long,” she said.
Those interested in buying “Roadrunner Rewards” cards can find them at Shepherdstown Elementary School or by contacting Kandalis directly at 304-876-5162.