01/15/14 — Communities in Schools seeks to launch own fundraiser

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Communities in Schools seeks to launch own fundraiser

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on January 15, 2014 1:46 PM

The Partnership for Children has Lobster Fest.

The Boys & Girls Club has Pig in the Park and an annual pancake breakfast.

Communities in Schools would like to have its own "signature event" and hopes next month to roll out its a new fundraiser to support its local programs.

"This is the first time we have attempted anything like this," Executive Director Selena Bennett said. "We're at the point we don't know about next year. We're totally grant supported. Because we do not know from year to year which grants will be renewed, we're looking to find our signature event.

"I'm hoping that we can kind of lock in something that's our thing, instead of doing a fundraiser every time we turn around, we would like to focus on one major thing a year."

It's all about sustainability, she said, and Valentine's Day seemed like a good place to start.

So on the evening of Feb. 14 from 6-8 p.m., "Have a Heart for Kids" will be held at the home of Judith McMillen and Glenn Barwick at 201 N. George Street. Featuring "sparkles and spirits," entertainment and heavy hors d'oeuvres, tickets are $30 a person, $60 a couple.

Mrs. Bennett said the intent is to promote CIS efforts, not as any sort of competition.

"We don't want to choose an event that's going to be a competition," she said. "We want to have our own that will serve a unique purpose and will establish good community relationships and support. We felt like this was an event that people who are familiar with us, because of our Teen Court program, mentors and volunteers."

Communities in Schools supports all schools, holding school supply drives districtwide and oversees the Teen Court program. It also launched the original "graduation coach" concept, begun first at Goldsboro High School and added Southern Wayne High, and since renamed the role as "success coach," with hires also assigned to four middle schools.

"I would like to expand, strategically place people in elementary schools as well," Mrs. Bennett said.

CIS also coordinates a fire academy program at GHS and plans to launch a police academy for high school students as an introduction to law enforcement, sponsors a mock trial competition in the spring and aspires to introduce a much-needed after school program in the schools.

To do all that takes funding, though, Mrs. Bennett said. Hopefully the upcoming event will make inroads to that end.

Invitations to the Feb. 14 event are being mailed out, she said, but anyone interested in attending can call CIS at 919-735-1432 or purchase tickets from the office at 308 N. William St.

Another piece of the fundraiser is sponsorships, Mrs. Bennett said.

"We would be interested in talking to anybody -- businesses or individuals -- who would like to sponsor this event," she said.

The tax deductible package for sponsors includes such perks as tickets to the event and being included in a newspaper ad promoting the effort.