“We were trying to find a way to fundraise that would benefit students and let them use God's gift for them in a way they were excited about,” Kenny Cargill, head administrator, said. “This fit with that philosophy.”
Administrators based the fundraising efforts on a story in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 25.
Jesus tells the story of a rich man who leaves his money with three servants to look after while he goes on a trip. The first and second servants multiply the master's money for him, while the third hides the money because he's afraid to risk it. The first two are praised, while the third is reprimanded.
Board member Cheryl Murtha presented the idea to the board based on the project she had seen elsewhere, according to the written release.
Administrators decided to give the school's 121 students $5 each to see how they could come up with creative ways to multiply it.
Jonathan Baggs won first place by raising $1,850 by the Dec. 10 deadline — only 36 days after the project was announced. Baggs, a senior, delivered presentations to area businesses describing the need and telling them how they could help. He even contributed some of his own money, according to a written release from the school.
Sisters Cassie and Haley Burchfield won second and third place by raising $481 each.
The lower campus students, from kindergarten to sixth grade, helped by selling homemade Christmas decorations, ornaments and baked goods.
A total of $9,000 was raised from the original $600, and an anonymous $5,000 gift from parents brought the grand total to $14,000.
It is enough for the school to get a nice used bus, Cargill said.
“We didn't expect it to go so well,” he said. “We didn't really have any set expectations. We hoped the students would be enthusiastic, that was our main goal.”