Fellenbaum’s heroes strike again

Laurie is a teacher at Schaeffer Elementary School in the Manheim Township School District. Those intial class lessons led the kids to collectively conclude: “We should do something that helps other people.”

Laurie said her father used to volunteer at the Lancaster County Easter Seals, the organization from which Schreiber Pediatric was formed. Laurie and her sister did a small backyard carnival fundraiser for Easter Seals for a few years.

The kids were a little unsure about what to do. They had a little bit of “what can kids do” attitude.

“When I told them what I had done, as an example of kids helping kids, they were all about (the carnival idea),” she said. “And doing something for Schreiber came up pretty quickly from there.”

The kids wanted to take over the annual PTO Fun Fair the school holds each spring. The PTO said yes. That first year, in May 2015, they added a Schreiber Night at Rita’s, received some items for a raffle and organized the first Fellenbaum Fun Fair.

That first group, students just from Laurie’s classroom, raised more than $1,000.

For 2016, they expanded the project to the entire second grade at Schaeffer, about 75 kids. The kids wrote letters to solicit sponsors and ask for more raffle items. And they raised more than $4,500.
Like any good fundraising professional, Laurie wanted to find ways to keep the project growing. For this year, she added Schreiberthon. Kids took sponsor sheets home in December and were asked to gather pledges through early January, with the understanding that all donations would go to Schreiber.

Laurie thought the kids would come in with a couple hundred dollars.

“The money was due back Jan. 9, and when it started coming in, we were amazed,” she said.

Laurie, the other teachers, a group of parent volunteers and the second graders held a Schreiberthon celebration Friday afternoon to do the big reveal for the total.

The final amount: $4,042.72.
Of the 76 kids in the three second-grade classrooms, 58 managed to bring in at least some pledge money. The top girl and boy fundraisers each received a new bike, courtesy of a donation from Target.

Ainsley Bounds led the girls, collecting $450. Charlie Beecher raised $500.

Beyond all the cheering and celebrating, the kids did a lot of learning. They learned about empathy and acceptance. They learned about math and handling money.

And they learned that second graders can make a difference in their community, and that might be the best lesson of all.