School fundraising frenzy in high gear

School fundraising frenzy in high gear
By: Crystal Britt
Jackson, MO - It seems like everyone's child, including your own, has something they want you to open your wallet up for. Fundraising is not like it was years ago, and right now schools across the Heartland are pushing money makers.
They're calculating their profits. A Jackson South Elementary School mom and grandma count up the cash from a recent fundraiser. The school kids took on the challenge of selling items out of catalog. Parent Julie Platz says, "You can't say no." That mother of three says this isn't yesterday's fundraising. You can buy anything from cookbooks to chocolate. "There's a lot more, like the week after school we started selling stuff", said Platz.
No matter where you send your kids to school it seems like every time you turn around, there's an organization asking for money. So, what's the deal? "It's different now because everything is so expensive", said PTO President Lona Ritchie. Last year, fundraising efforts helped build new playground equipment for the kids. And this year, Ritchie says "PTO voted a portion would go toward a climbing wall in the gym, so it's going to be one whole end of the gym."
South Elementary School is also getting ready for a book fair. Plus, the kids are raising money for the United Way. The spare change raised won't even benefit the school, just the charity. The best part for the kids, the incentives. In one particular fundraiser, if the child sells six items, he or she gets a fountain pen. If they sell 200 items, they get a Sony PSP, or a gift card totaling $200. So, next time you're asked to buy something, ask what it's for. You might be surprised. "We want it to be something they can see and use that will be special, and something not just for this year, but for years to come for other students to use too", said Ritchie. 
The PTO at South Elementary also writes grants to bring in cash. A recent award will help build an outdoor classroom.