Emmy Monson and Allie Cagle, both 11, spent last week selling lemonade and snowballs outside in the summer heat in response to an email from their school requesting the assistance of parents, grandparents and alumni to help with renovations.
The two girls, with the help of other neighborhood children, Peyton and Maddie Grant, both 8, and Mac Munson, 3, helped raise about $200 which would go toward buying their school, Holy Family School, new blinds in a classroom.
Annette Fitzgerald, HFS Advancement Director, said that the girls’ response to the email blast she sent out was one of many grand responses she received.
“We had the overwhelming response,” Fitzgerald said, adding that overall, the school raised close to $10,000 for new blinds.
“I let them know what certain money was allocated for, however we do need the blinds replaced … By the time I left that day we had probably close to $3,000,” she said. “It just started a firestorm of reaction.”
Fitzgerald said that the school will be able to change the blinds in each of the 10 classrooms and the teacher’s lounge, which have remained unchanged since the 1960s.
“We’re celebrating 65 years this year as a school, and there are many things that have been here for 65 years. The blinds were installed in the 1960s. It was the green, metal blinds,” Fitzgerald said. “With funds that we did have in our budget, along with grant money and money that was raised from our auction at our Bear Fair last year, it committed us to make a lot of renovations and updates.
“Unfortunately, there’s no such grant for blinds, so it was a shame that the school was looking so beautiful but you walk into the classrooms and they were freshly painted, the floors had been stripped of the old wax … and then there’s the big green metal blinds,” she said.
Fitzgerald said that the blinds in the classrooms and lounge will take about $5,500 to be changed – the rest of the money will go towards the other classroom necessities and items on teachers’ wish lists for the beginning of the school year.
She said that she is proud of what Monson and Cagle accomplished, as well as the cheerleaders and football players who raised and donated money.
“It was a beautiful act. I saw Christ working through the children,” she said. “It’s just a perfect example for adults to drive by and say ‘I can see a 10-year-old sitting here trying to raise money – they’re sacrificing. What can I sacrifice as an adult?’
“Holy Family is not just about Holy Family, we’re about the entire Westside,” she added. “We come together as a community and we support everyone in our community, regardless of religion or financial background.”
Fitzgerald said that along with the money that was raised by students, parents and others, this year’s parent work day saw about 55 parents come assist in renovations throughout the Holy Family campus.
“Every year, usually a weekend or two before school starts, we have what’s called a parent work day,” she explained. “Saturday was a record day for us. We had 55 parents come to the school to assist. On average, in the past, we may have had 15-20.”
Fitzgerald said that the excitement that is making its way through the area about Holy Family is for good reason – great things are happening.
“To me, it was a beautiful example for those kids, and adults, to see what it is that you can do as an individual to help those around you.”