It was a sunny Saturday in April when Woodsdale Elementary School parents, students and staff raised $4,300 in an age-old method: the lemonade stand.
That’s a lot of lemons.
On April 21, 20 stands stretching from Warwood to Elm Grove attracted thirsty passersby who not only paid for their Dixie Cup refreshments and homemade cookies, but gave above and beyond to the Woodsdale Playground Upgrade Initiative.
In just over a year, volunteers led by the Woodsdale PTO have raised over $160,000.
The difference is notable. With funds in hand, the school has constructed a new fence, paved asphalt and installed four adjustable basketball hoops, much to the delight of Woodsdale students and families in the Woodsdale neighborhood.
But there is still more work to be done. Principal Ashlea Minch explains, “We are in our final stretch of fundraising. Our goal is to raise $40,000 more in order to construct two separate playground structures that accommodate students of all ages and students with special needs.”
The lemonade stand day was the first event of three to try and accomplish Minch’s goal.
Next up is the Amazing Raise on Tuesday, May 1, under the funding agent “Woodsdale Elementary School PTO.”
The final fundraiser of the school year is a 5K race, with the starting line on the playground itself, on May 5. “This isn’t only a fundraiser for the playground. Our goal is to educate the kids and community on how physical fitness positively impacts mental health and the overall learning experience,” said PTO President Lori Kenamond. Interested participants, who would like to run, walk or stroll can go to www.active.com and search for Woodsdale Elementary to register.
But it was the lemonade stand success that still resonates with the Woodsdale Elementary community.
“I am so proud of our students who were waving signs, hula-hooping and thanking people for $100 bill gifts. Above all our students learned the power of community organizing and philanthropy, and they will see the fruits of their labor on their brand new playground this fall,” said Minch.