Friday, January 25, 2013

Co-op’s Annual FUNraiser & What Is This FUNraiser Craze All About, Anyway?

Co-op’s Annual FUNraiser &
What Is This FUNraiser Craze All About, Anyway?

Mark your calendars and line-up your sitter so you can come join the best parents and teachers on Saturday, March 23, 2013 for Co-op's 2nd annual FUNraiser, The Co-op Spring Fling: Where The Love of Learning Blooms!

Once again there of are lots great items and you all make the best company for a date night!  We have a photo booth available for fun & funky pics and exquisite food provided once again by Co-op Dad and 2nd Street Bistro Executive Chef Chris Long.  New and old favorite items offered to raise money for the school from a locals basket (local eggs, produce, fruit, honey) to dinner for 6 at 2nd Street (one of our most popular repeat items!), 4 day passes to Disney in Florida, an iPad, and much, much more!

Through the years, the team of Co-op's Auction or FUNraiser volunteers work tirelessly to put on a fun event as well as raise money for the school.  Is this really necessary?  Well, yes and no.  I thought I'd take a few minutes to remind us all, new and old-timers alike, why we even bother to have a fundraiser.

The money that is raised from this event each year supports our scholarship fund, which provides full to partial financial assistance to many of our school's families.  Year after year the Board discusses raising tuition.  We could easily alleviate the need for a fundraiser by raising tuition enough to cover all costs, and greatly reducing our scholarship fund or eliminating it.  However, we might easily price ourselves out of the market and out of the reach of many of our wonderful families.  We are the most inexpensive preschool in town, but we count your time at the school and your time with your child as priceless.  These are crucial years that you will not get back.  Through our philosophy of learning through play, the skill and direction of our teachers, and the dedication of our parents, we feel that parental -- family -- support is key to our children's growth and to our school community's well being.  We are a non-profit school and our income for supplies, teacher salaries, rent from St. Martin’s, etc, comes through tuition.  That is our single source of income.  Co-op has always walked that delicate balance between making ends meet and providing for our “family.”  Things always have a way of working out for the best. 

On a more personal note, when our own family first came to Co-op, we would have been unable to attend if it had not been for the school’s financial aid.  We have now been at the school for eight years, the first three of which were enabled by partial scholarships.  We were a single-income family with two (and later three) kids and we were transitioning into a new job and career field.  Co-op was a saving grace for us -- for the enrichment of our children, making friends, the development for ourselves as parents (learning and practicing patience and those gems of parental tips from playground chatter and our fabulous teachers), for a social network in a new place, and a myriad of other ways I could mention, but which you all as Co-op parents already know deep in your hearts.  Both my husband and I cherished the time we had in class with each of our children, even when it meant re-arranging schedules so our other children could be watched.  

Many things at Co-op change over the years -- teachers, class offerings & spaces, and even events.  We are the farthest thing from a static environment, because we are a living, breathing, active place.  Despite all the changes large and small, the core of Co-op remains steadfast: encouraging and engaging our children in life-long learning, teaching them to explore and discover and make decisions, and empowering our children and ourselves to learn and develop in a community.  We ask much of our families in time and resources in a societal environment where it is easier to pick up and drop off and go on to the next part of the day’s busy schedule without having much human interaction.  But think of what would be missed!  Because we each believe in the message of Co-op, we gladly give what we can.  The FUNraiser, despite all of the hard work and effort is not-only a money raising event, but an opportunity for us parents -- families both immediate and extended, current and alumni -- to come together and celebrate our hard work, dedication, and the magic that these years offer (even though it may not seem like magic when naps are missed or three-year-old determination is pitted against parental schedules.).  Even if you cannot contribute items, there are many ways to help and participate (look for the stock the bar note in March) and if nothing else, we hope to see you at this wonderful event.

So now that you're geared up, here is another way to help -- put on your thinking caps:

The FUNraising Committee has been diligently working since the beginning of the school year to get ready for this event.  Now that it is just two months away, we'd love a little help from you!  Please take a moment to think about any special skills or contacts you may have that you would be willing to put to work for Co-op's benefit!  We are looking for business sponsorships and specialty items for the event.  Some ideas include (but aren't limited to):

            -  Weekend getaway at a beach house, mountain cabin, ski lodge, etc.
-  Contacts with travel agents or travel points to go towards hotel or airline
   accommodations (we have 4 single day Disney passes!)
            -  Tickets to a Williamsburg or area event (concerts, plays, movies, etc,)
            -  Passes to local parks -- Busch Gardens, Water Country, Great Wolf
   Lodge, etc.
            -  Spa connections  (manicure, massage, etc.)
            -  Sailing or trips of any kind
            -  Behind the scenes tours
            -  Kitchen/cooking classes
            -  Skill lessons (language instruction, organization/home decoration,
   sports, summer or weekend sport or activity camps, craft how-tos,
   building/construction ability)
            -  Contacts with a local jeweler

Whatever ideas you have please contact Lauri Wawersik: to see if we can add that to this year's event/theme.

The sky or rather your imagination is the limit!

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