The Saratoga Sun -

Saratoga FBLA plans March of Dimes fundraiser


Doug Radunich

Left to right, Shawn Ingleby, FBLA Advisor Jared Mason, Hunter Mason and Shelby McGuire show off candy bags and brochures for coffee sales. Saratoga's FBLA group, which includes close to 20 students, is selling candy to raise money for the March of Dimes, and coffee to raise money to go to FBLA's state and national conferences.

To raise money for the Wyoming March of Dimes, dedicated Saratoga High School FBLA members plan to walk for awareness and collect more than $1,000 in town.

This year the March of Dimes celebrates 75 years of raising money to support programs that help mothers have healthy, full-term pregnancies, and the program also funds research to find answers to the problems which threaten babies. The school's FBLA group, which includes close to 20 Saratoga High School students, plans to collect money through selling candy and snacks across Saratoga Nov. 17, the March of Dimes World's Prematurity Awareness Day.

Last year, due to much community support, Saratoga FBLA raised more than $800. For 2013, Jared Mason said he and students members hope to surpass the $1,000 mark.

"As far as actually marching around town we've been doing it for a few years, but we've done penny wars before here in school and done collections that way," said FBLA Advisor Jared Mason. "Last year was the first year we've actually marched around town, and the kids raised about $800 last year. If they can raise over $1,000, that will be amazing for a community our size. I'm excited about it and look forward to doing it every year."

Mason said the students will split up, spread out and cover different Saratoga neighborhoods in cars, beginning at 1 p.m. on Nov. 17, which is a Sunday.

"The kids will go door to door, house to house to raise money, and we'll go for probably four hours that afternoon," he said. "Then we'll come back to school and have Thanksgiving dinner, and then we'll total up what we've raised."

The students plan to dress up to look professional and walk door-to-door in search of donations. President Cameron Collamer, who has been with FBLA for three years, said he realized the importance of the cause after attending a March of Dimes workshop.

"We went to a fall leadership conference and I attended the March of Dimes workshop, and a big statistic presented was that one out of every eight babies is born prematurely, which is higher than most developed nations," he said. "That really opened my eyes that it's a big, recurring deal, and the March of Dimes over its 75 years has raised over $2 billion for research and development to prevent this. For us as members this is a way to give back, because this could affect in our future. We got recognized at State as one of the top organizations, so we definitely have a title that we plan to uphold."

Vice President Shelby McGuire said she enjoyed the competitive nature within the team, and hoped they could top the $800 mark set last year.

"We can get competitive between our cars that we send out, so it really helps money that way, and last year we went out for about three-and-a-half or four hours," she said. "We explain to people the statistics and always dress nicely so they know it's professional, and tell them what to expect. Our chapter's name was also printed in the state booklet, saying something like 'ask the Saratoga affiliate how they raised $800 in one day.'"

Mason said for 40 years, FBLA-PBL has partnered with the March of Dimes to support their mission. He said his involvement is also supported by personal experience.

"The reason I push for it is because I have a niece who was born with birth defects, so this is something that is really personal to me and why I push the kids to do it," Mason said. "I have a great bunch and they're excited to do it. It's nice to be thankful for our health and being able to get together like that, after doing good for other kids who may be less fortunate."

In addition to raising money for the March of Dimes, local FBLA students are still selling $15 bags of "Panther Pride Gourmet Coffee", to raise money for the FBLA's state and national conferences. The deadline to get coffee sales in and accounted for is Nov. 14.

Those with questions on either fundraiser, or who would like to contribute to the March of Dimes through Saratoga FBLA, can contact Jared Mason at 307-326-5246. People can contribute either before or after the Nov. 17 collection walk.

Additionally, people may also call Mason to contribute money toward the Saratoga FBLA's state and national conferences.


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