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Ashfield’s Sanderson Academy ‘local goods’ drive wraps up

A project to bring school fundraising back home heads to a close in Ashfield this week, with the expectation that thousands of dollars will again be raised for afterschool programming.

Four years ago, the Sanderson Academy PTO launched a project to raise money by joining with local artisans and businesses, rather than by patronizing some far-off merchandiser.

“We were tired of selling the regular fundraisers that used to come — with goods coming from China, a catalogue of just stuff,” said Diana Szewczyk, a PTO member and school substitute and volunteer.

Instead, the group formed connections with about 60 vendors in the Hilltowns area. The PTO produces a catalogue of offerings that is distributed locally and brought home by the school’s 120 students.

Last year, the local goods catalogue generated $20,000 worth of sales by participants. Of that, the PTO’s share was $6,000, Szewczyk said.

“It not only helps us, it helps the community a hundredfold,” she said.

About 20 of the 60 vendors, a group known as “angels,” donate all proceeds for the catalogue’s selling season to the PTO, while others contribute 20 to 25 percent of what they take in.

The deadline to purchase is Friday. Supporters can shop the catalogue online at www.ashfieldlocalgoods.com.

The school will host a gathering Nov. 10 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at which buyers can pick up their purchases.

The money raised by the PTO underwrites the cost of hiring teachers for its afterschool programs. With that support, the school is able to hold six-week afterschool sessions that cost student and their families just $20.


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