Thoughts On School Fund Raising 
By Alex Saitta 
January 30, 2012 
Fundraising, booster clubs and PTA’s once in a while are a topic of discussion on the school board. I remember about five years ago when a PTA member from one of the middle schools was caught stealing money. The board then asked the district finance department to require all PTA’s to provide the district with annual income statements.  
Often parents of elementary school students have complained to board member of too much or trivial fundraising activities or money raising contests that put pressure on their children to solicit and sell things.    
By and large parents, the community and businesses want to give to their schools. However, some don’t know how they can help. For this reason, it makes sense for schools have fundraisers, however, schools have to be careful not to do too many because that may annoys parents or businesses. 
Schools must also create fundraisers which parents will embrace, rather than are just annoyed by. Fall Festivals make sense. Sally Foster wrapping paper sales have the tendency to turn-off parents to fundraising and giving to their school.  
First Speaker: 
Exploring this subject, I asked Tony Stancil to speak to the school board at the October meeting. As a former PTA president, he zeroed in on the optimal number of fundraisers and ones parents embraced and raised the most money for the school.  (By the way, Stancil is a great speaker. No notes. He just let it rip.)  
Second Speaker: 
When Roy Costner approached the district administration with his idea of “Pickens Has Talent”, Dr. Henry Hunt asked him to present to the board. Costner detailed his proposal in the second part of this video and provides a good example of the out of the box thinking needed to create fundraisers  parents and the community will embrace.  
About this time, I asked Costner if he would later be interested in helping the district better market its high school sports teams.  
The Stars Are Lining Up: 
This all occurred to me when I went to a local high school football game in December. Having experience in sales, I thought, these events and teams have so much going for them. These high schools could better market their brands like the Green Wave or Blue Flame with the help of people like Costner. God knows the sports programs could use the cash.  
I thought about all that Easley has going for it, for instance. 1) They now have a coach that knows how to win. 2) They have an athletic director that has turned that program around. 3) Easley High is a 4A school — big. 4). The Easley community is well organized with the Rotary, the Chamber, and groups like the Touchdown Club or the boosters. 5) The mayor was the former EHS coach, so the city will do all it can to help the sports programs and the school. 6) The community is affluent and growing, plus 7) all the sports facilities are new and state of the art. Mix that together with a professional marketer, and they should double their revenue. All the teams should be able to raise more money.  
Costner has been working with the high schools since October on the talent show, so I figured this might be a good next step. He said he was interested in volunteering his time there too. I spoke to Dr. Hunt about it, and shot this idea to the school board’s public relations committee.  I hope Dr. Hunt, Costner, the high school principals and the athletic directors will sit down with that board committee in February or early March to talk about this.  
It’s a thought. We’ll see if it goes anywhere.  
January 28 Show at PHS: 
I went to the "Pickens County Has Talent"  show on January 28. Overall the acts were good, but Roy Costner made the show as the MC. He was entertaining, witty and kept the crowd involved. It was a fun night and I recommend it to all. 
Most of the time the judges were ho-hum, though, generally saying positive things, even though some acts were clearly better than others. They don't want me as a judge, that's for sure.  
To me, too many of the acts were singers. With all the singing shows these days, even the good singers now just seem average. There was one singer who was an adult, so I surely wouldn't have graded her on the curve like the children. The judges raved about her. First of all she was an adult, at or near her peak. Second, she seemed to be a regular on the Liberty Idol and local talent show circuit so she had experience. She was good, no doubt, but in the bigger scheme of things, there are a million with that level of talent.  
I most enjoyed the 10-year old clogger, the girl who looked like Janis Joplin, and the middle schooler who did the one-girl drama. I generally favored the risky acts that added variety to the show, hence will help greatly in selling tickets. I was hoping they'd have a magic act or comic. Maybe at the upcoming shows. 
My guess is they sold about 300 tickets. A bit short of their goal, but a good for the first show. The next shows will be: Daniel (Feb 4), Liberty (Feb 11), Easley (Feb 18) and back to Pickens (Feb 25) for the finals.   
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