Catholic Schools Week
School fundraisers changing with the times
For most Catholic school alumni, the school fundraiser meant selling boxes of chocolate bars door-to-door.
It began in your neighborhood. Introverts needed all the help they could get. My mom would have phoned the neighbors she knew ahead of time and later she and I would walk up and down our street — I was the designated sales woman and mom provided the security—to make the sale. I pounded on so many front doors that my hands hurt but that was quickly forgotten when neighbors came to the door with smiles and cash in hand.
Classmates also got assistance from their parents in a different way. If mom or dad worked outside the home they brought the candy to work and their co-workers would take the chocolates off their hands. Ka-ching!
Thankfully, those door-to-door solicitations are going the way of 8-track tapes. But Catholic school students are selling other items from cookie dough to candles and from T-shirts to magazine subscriptions.
Many schools are moving away from product fundraisers and instead have begun to have fundraisers like read a-thons to promote more reading or walk-a-thons, a healthy body.
Dinners, barbecues and other food-related events are another way school supporters and alumni groups raise money.
Crab feeds, a popular fundraising event at this time of year featuring Pacific Dungeness crab, were caught short after the California Department of Fish and Wildlife postponed crabbing season indefinitely due to high levels of a toxin along the coast. It also put a hold on the crabbing season along the parts of the coasts of Oregon and Washington.
Ingestion of the toxin can cause abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting. Other side effects can be seizures, short term loss of memory and coma. Many groups have changed their menu, or are using crab from other parts of the world or previously frozen crab. A list of upcoming crab feeds follows this story.
Another popular fundraising activity is the Scrip program, which can be adapted in a number of ways to meet the needs of the school. Its popularity is likely due to the fact that individuals can raise money without selling a product.
Money is raised by how many times you buy things with either a gift card or a grocery club card. These cards are registered under the name of the school that you support and the merchant will donate a percentage of that money to the school.
"Our families are required to fundraise a minimum of $300 per year, said Kelly Stevens, principal at St. Patrick School in Rodeo. "I believe this is fairly common in many of our schools. It is our goal that they raise this money by selling to people outside their own home. This way it is $300 they do not have to spend. Funds raised directly benefit our families because our fundraising helps keep tuition costs lower."
Each year half of the money St. Patrick raises goes to reduce tuition costs for families, and the other half goes to purchasing equipment for the school, Stevens said. "In the past few years, we have been able to purchase items such as iPads, science kits, primary reading program, online subscriptions and novels for the upper grades. Our parents are extremely supportive and work hard to raise money to benefit their children's education."
Schools are always looking for new fundraisers, said Linda Basman, assistant superintendent of diocesan Catholic schools. The diocesan Department of Catholic Schools has no control over the money that the schools raise, she said, but the department does monthly reviews of school budgets to monitor the cash flow. But if a school experiences budget trouble the school department office is ready to offer advice.
Here's a list of upcoming crab feeds in the diocese:
Saturday, Jan. 23
The 47th annual Moreau Catholic Crab and Auction, at 27170 Mission Blvd., Hayward. Tickets: $30 each, 510-881-4300 or moreaucatholic.org/crabfeed.
De La Salle High School, 6 to 11 p.m., Hofmann Student Center. 1130 Winton Drive, Concord. Sold out but to be placed on a wait list, contact Shannon Sullivan at email@example.com.
School of the Madeleine. Spaghetti feed replaces the crab feed this year. Cocktails at 6:30 p.m.; dinner at 7:30 p.m. in the parish hall of St. Mary Magdalen Church, 2005 Berryman St., Berkeley. Dancing to the Timebandits follows. Tickets $30 each. Contact: Sugata Pagedat, 510-913-2713.
Saturday, Jan. 30
Knights of Columbus Council 7683, begins at 6 p.m., dinner served at 7:30 p.m. in Peace room, St. Monica Parish, 1001 Camino Pablo, Moraga. Tickets: $55 each; all funds go to Bay Area charities. Information: Stephanie at 925-946-9003.
Christ the King-CYO Crab Feed with barbecued tri-tip. 6 to 11 p.m. in the school gym at 199 Brandon Road, Pleasant Hill. Contact: Allen Brezac, 650-642-7171 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Danville Knights of Columbus Council 4060 4th annual Winter Crab Feed and Gala. 5 to 10:30 p.m. at St. Isidore Community Center, 440 LaGonda Way, Danville. http://danvillekoccrabfeed2016.eventbrite.com.
Saturday, Feb. 6
Holy Names High School Spaghetti Dinner and Silent Auction, 4660 Harbord Drive, Oakland. 6 p.m. 510-450-1110.
Bishop O'Dowd High School Crab & Pasta Feed, Silent Auction, doors open at 5:30 p.m. 9500 Stearns Ave., Oakland. 510-577-9100.
Saint Mary's College High School Crab Feed and Cocktail Auction. 1294 Albina Ave., Peralta Park, Berkeley. 510-526-9242.
Knights of Columbus St. Joan of Arc Council 9206 annual crab and pasta feed. 6 to 9 p.m. at 2601 San Ramon Valley Blvd., San Ramon. "This year featuring Alaskan Dungeness crab."
Livermore Knights of Columbus 4588 43rd annual Charity Crab Feed and Auction. 4:30 to 11 p.m. at Robert Livermore Community Center, 4444 East Ave., Livermore. Contact Claire or Mark Duguid at 925-443-5873.
Saturday, Feb. 13
St. Joachim School. 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. in school gym at 21250 Hesperian Blvd., Hayward. 510-783-3177. "We have secured fresh out-of-state Dungeness crab from Washington and/or Canada." 510-783-3177 or www.stjoachimschool.org.
All Saints Crab Feed. 5 to 10 p.m. at All Saints Gym, 22824 Second St., Hayward. Hosted by All Saints CYO. Adults-only event. http://allsaintshaywardcyo.org/site/ClientSite/article/1498688.
Saturday, Feb. 20
Denim and Diamonds BBQ Feed and Luncheon. St. Joseph Notre Dame High School, Alameda. 5 to 11 p.m. in Kelly Gymnasium, 1011 Chestnut St., Alameda. $75 each. https://sjnd.ejoinme.org/auction.
Saturday, Feb. 27
St. Lawrence O'Toole Catholic and School and Parish Crab Feed and Auction. 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. gym, 3725 High St., Oakland. Contact email@example.com.
Saturday, March 5
Carondelet High School, Garaventa Center, 1133 Winton Drive in Concord. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; dinner: 6:45 p.m. $60 (crab; crab and tri tip; only tri-tip); followed by specialty dessert, auction and raffle. Information: carondelet.net/parents/annual-crab-feed/index.aspx.
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