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Ride in limo

Barkstall Elementary School students Denise Heidbreder (3rd grade), left, and Audrey Seyfert (1st grade) examine the inside of the limousine they just boarded at the school in Champaign on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. The pair were two of the top six selling students for Barkstall in a recent fundraiser supporting its art and music departments get to ride in style with their principal by boarding a limousine to Marble Slab Creamery.

Cool in school, Part I

To spice up fundraising efforts, the Parent-Teacher Association at Champaign’s Barkstall Elementary decided to ditch the “catalog” and try something new.

A brainstorming session was organized to determine “what families and staff would really be interested in purchasing,” said PTA fundraising Chairwoman Mandy Danowitz said, “and we thought of coffee. Most people really love coffee, and people who love coffee can appreciate really good coffee.”

She was right. Working with Columbia Street Roastery, the “Barkstall Brew Fundraiser” raised more than $4,000 to be used in part for the school’s vibrant art and music departments.

“Most people cringe when it comes to fundraising,” Danowitz said, “but this has been surprisingly fun.”

It gets better.

Students at each grade level who raised the most money will be treated to a ride with Starr Limousine to Marble Slab Creamery in Savoy. The winners, who will be accompanied by Principal Jessica Bradford, were announced Wednesday.

We’ll have pictures in Saturday’s News-Gazette.

“It is a unique fundraiser because we have built from the ground up,” Danowitz said, adding “that was bad coffee joke.”

Cool in school, Part II

Friday night’s football clash in Gilman between Paxton-Buckley-Loda and Iroquois West is a Hometown Hero game, Raiders athletic director Kristy Arie said.

“All military and emergency medical professionals and first responders will be honored,” she said. “Both sides sold T-shirts in which the proceeds will go toward a scholarship at each school to a student going into the emergency medical field.”

What’s cool at your school? Share your news by emailing N-G Media’s Jim Rossow at