Alisa Schrom of InStitches For You works on a yarn scarf Saturday morning at her stand during the One-Stop Christmas Shopping Expo at Sumner Elementary. -- Eric Johnson/

Archived Story

A Sumner Christmas

Published 9:50am Monday, November 19, 2012

Students raise funds for play equipment

Fifth-grader Lee Nguyen knows what she’d like added to the Sumner Elementary School playground: a new slide or see-saw.

Items of all kinds sit on display Saturday at the One-Stop Christmas Shopping Expo.

On Saturday, Sumner took a step toward adding some new playground equipment.

Sumner’s second-annual One-Stop Christmas Shopping Expo raised money for the school to put toward purchasing new playground equipment. Sumner officials did not return calls Monday morning about the amount raised.

“We want our kids involved in a community service project,” said Karla Dooley, an administrative assistant and the student council advisor at Sumner.

The expo brought more than 50 vendors — up from 38 last year — to fill most of the school’s entire first floor to sell craft items like scarves, knit hats, jewelry, headbands, flower arrangements, candles and more.

Yvonne Helgeson of Lake Mills, Iowa, looks over items from the That's My Pan line from a table run by Renee Goglewski during the One-Stop Christmas Shopping Expo Saturday at Sumner Elementary.

While the vendors keep their profits, they buy a spot to sell their items for $25, which goes to the school. People attending could also give a freewill donation and buy raffle tickets.

Dooley said the event keeps students from having to go door-to-door selling items around town.

Despite the high number of vendors, the students still had plenty to do.

Students like Lee, her sister, Ivy, Samantha Johnson, and the rest of the 21 members of the student council took turns welcoming shoppers at the entrances, serving food and divvying out raffle tickets.

“They have responsibilities that they’re in charge of for the day,” Dooley said.

Last year, the students decided to buy new swings for the school, so the fundraiser would get something for the entire school, rather than just one classroom.

“Some of our playground equipment outside is a little outdated, so we’d like to upgrade it for the kids,” Dooley said. “We haven’t purchased new equipment for a while.”

While some of the students are pulling for a merry-go-round, Dooley noted, the school nurse would see it as a safety risk, so it’s still up for discussion.

This year, all the first-floor gym and hallway space was used for the event, including some classrooms. Dooley said she hopes the event will grow in future years, so they’ll use the entire building.

Some people suggested moving the event to Austin High School, but Dooley said she prefers to keep it at Sumner.

“This is such a great building, and it’s an old building,” she said. “I want to bring people in the building.”

“I want them to get a feeling of who we are at Sumner,” she added. “ It’s a great school.”

Dooley noted Sumner is a little different, since it’s the only school entirely on the 45-15 — or year-round — schedule, which Dooley said has been a success at the school.

“It’s a great schedule,” she said.

The giving spirit isn’t going away anytime soon at Sumner, as the students will next start holding penny wars to see who can bring in the most change. The money will be donated to the American Red Cross for Superstorm Sandy victims. They did the same thing after Hurricane Katrina.

“We just want them to be involved,” Dooley said. “Teach them to be good students and good leaders.”

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