Lane programs find new ways to fundraise

By Isabel Trumbull

Finding loose change between the couch cushions is a great way to help buy a coffee at Mariano’s, but it’s not nearly enough to fund all the programs at Lane.

“It gets harder and harder to make money,” said Mr. O’Brien, head of the band department.

There is a delicate balance between charging students and being able to raise enough money for activities to function without the big price tag, especially with international trips.

“If there were more fundraising, more people would be able to go on them,” said Erica Skibicki, Div. 559.

In the first week of school a company that creates new fundraising ideas, Custom Fundraising Solutions Northshore, contacted Italian teacher Mrs. Paganelli, head of the trip to Italy. Paganelli warned them that CPS had new rules that made fundraising more difficult. The company was unfazed by the challenge.

“This was either going to be a complete waste of time or this guy is going to be an angel from heaven, so whatever. On the off chance he is an angel from heaven we’ll go with it,” Paganelli said.

Teachers sponsoring other trips also took part. This included head of the trip to Greece Ms. Jennings, head of the trip to France Mr. Silverstein, and Latin teacher Mr. Chochola who is helping with the Italian trip. All were unsure of what they had in store, but after the meeting the teachers were sold on selling mattresses at Lane’s first Snoozefest.

The mattress sale offered factory quality mattresses at discounted rates. A portion of the proceeds go to the students who are selling them as a direct discount to their trip’s cost. The funds were distributed out based on commission. The mattress sale has a high return in funds and no start up costs, which is beneficial if students can sell enough mattresses. The sale did not bring huge returns, but it did bring in some funds.

The first Snoozefest hosted at Lane happened Oct. 19. This sale was open to the public. Cara Klazura, Div. 560, was there selling mattresses for her trip to Greece and could only explain it as “awkward,” and she was not alone in this sentiment. Most students were hesitant to publicize the event because they felt uncomfortable selling mattresses. As a teen it is hard to say what makes a good mattress, let alone a good price on one.

When introducing the plan to students “everyone went ‘mattresses?’” Paganelli said.

Mattresses are not all the groups are peddling. Student going on the Greece trip are also having a Yankee Candle sale. Skibicki, who is going on the Greece trip and went on the England-Ireland trip last summer, has experience with different types of fundraisers.

“I actually sold a lot if candles cause I love them and I know a lot if people who like Yankee candles,” Skibicki said.

Fundraising for the England-Ireland trip last summer included movie nights for LTAC and ‘Are You Smarter Than A Seventh Grader’ as seen on LBTV. Tickets were sold at the door and the students going on the trip staffed the event.

Some teachers enjoy these new sales for the same reason students do not: they are not candy.

Students and teachers from all departments are being forced to be more creative.

JROTC resorted to Welch’s Fruit Snack sales. Pop-Tarts, sold by the band, and Welch’s Fruit Snacks meet the mandatory nutritional guidelines that CPS instituted this year. New provisions allow programs to sell candy through booster clubs.

Paganelli hopes that the Lane Tech Snoozefest becomes imbedded in the fundraising tradition.

“We would like to try it again and we definitely want to try it with more kids,” Paganelli said.

Another fundraiser that has hopes for becoming a new Lane Tech tradition is Lane Tech Unplugged, a musical show put together by the music department. It was the brainchild of O’Brien, and has been in the making for years.

“Unplugged went very well. The money from that did not go to the band  went to the music department,” O’Brien said.

The money raised from the concert can go to any number of individuals, classes, or machines, he said. For example, the department’s two copy machines run the department an annual bill between $7,000 and $8,000.

“One-hundred percent of the money goes back to the kids one way or another,” O’Brien said.

Anybody who needs proof of that can stand by Door O during 6th period lunch. Students there can often hear a variety of music coming from one student’s brand new tenor saxophone. Frank Macaluso, Div. 666,  plays everything from pop music to Christmas Carols. This new saxophone was bought by money raised from the Pop-Tart fundraiser. Macaluso will be able to play the saxophone through senior year.

Macaluso’s saxophone isn’t the only thing that the band pays for. The band department buys new music, lockers, risers, and even private lessons to students who could not other wise afford it.

The mother of band student Bridget O’Donnell, Div. 759, works for DMS Pharmaceuticals. This pharmaceutical company matches the amount of money O’Donnell raises for her school. This program is only for employes and this year will benefit the band program.

“We make money to spend it,” O’Brien said.

At the beginning of the school year the band had a balance of zero dollars in their account. The music department, which was self-sufficient from candy sales for years, is not the only program suffering from lack of funds.

After tragedy hit the football team when Drew Williams, Div. 469, was injured and induced into a coma, fundraising began on his behalf. This included “Let’s Eat” rubber bracelets, not unlike the “LiveStrong” bracelets popular in the early 2000s. The bracelets say “Let’s Eat” because it was a phrase Williams used often.

Other fundraising efforts coming up are the Melting Pot Chicago and Chipotle Wednesday. Both of these fundraisers have proceed from food sales that go to Williams’ recovery fund.

Fundraising for Drew Williams or aid efforts to the Philippines are left to individuals and clubs. The football team’s biggest fundraiser involves players like Neil Malloy, Div. 587, selling ads to companies for ad-books and then selling ad books at home games for $1. The money raised goes towards new weight lifting equipment and gear.

Another tragedy many Lane Tech students are affected by is the state of disaster in the Philippines. One of the club’s founders Nicole Rose, Div. 582, spoke about how Lane Tech’s new club 7th Society is looking to fundraise to send aid to the Philippines by selling rubber bracelets.

Tri-M club also put a concert together on Nov. 22 to raise funds to send to the Philippines.

Teachers and students are finding it increasingly difficult to raise money for their programs for fear of becoming redundant. Finding new ways to earn revenue is a challenge but students and teachers at Lane are facing it head on.