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School Fundraisers


I’ve been quiet for WAY too long.  I watched them bring in Pizza and Fazzolis to my kid’s high school for lunch when they got rid of the school lunch program.  Now we’re watching it happen to our grandkids (well, to be fair, not the ones in England).  I kept my mouth shut about Girl Scout Cookies and all the STUFF they push on kids now.

Here is the fundraiser ad.  I’ve been holding my tongue for eight years now – in the current go round.  When our granddaughter went to school, she had very little experience with anything but healthy food.  The most unhealthy food she’d eaten on a daily basis was yogurt.  She ate nuts, vegetables, fruits and animal products – but not processed and not sugar.

The first day of pre-k – they frosted pretzels with canned frosting.  Oh MY gosh…what do you do?

In first through fourth grade, she came home with cans of pop, donuts, and candy.  She’d never had pop before.  Thankfully, they’ve put a stop to that.  Some brave parent must have stood up for what was right for the kids.

I’ve kept my mouth shut for a LONG time.  Through the box top saving schemes and the fundraisers where you ask your family to buy inferior quality products and junkiest of junky food and Pizza Hut Parties, where they tell the kids to go there and then the Pizza joint pays a portion back to the school.  Kora told me you have to go to these to be popular.

It’s not just one.  It’s one after another that we’re pummeled with.

Today I got this….



The Marketing Alone

I did pretty well.  I ignored the first, the second, the third – then, I got the 4th one, and I decided it was a sign.  I’d been quiet too long.

So, I took a screenshot, and I posted in the family group and said “I don’t mean to be a trouble maker but how many parents would prefer to pay a little more tuition and not have crummy food pushed on kids as fundraisers? It’s hard to teach kids healthy eating habits without doing this.”

Guess what the answer was  Not one person agreed with me.  They all chose money over health.  They said it was optional and that it raised money for “our great school.”.

The good news is only two of them said it was okay to eat there because there were healthy options – like our kids are going to go and order a salad instead of burger and fries.

One person wanted ideas – I said walkathons, 5k’s and triathlons.  They said okay you do it.  LOL….well, I’m the one who said I’d rather donate the money.  They were the ones who wanted to volunteer.  Maybe if they stayed away from the places on this list, they’d be more energetic.

Look at this add, the logo, the name and the colors could all belong to a health coach.  They have branded healthy for the most unhealthy restaurants and fast food places in our city.  They’ve repeated the name of the TRUSTED school repeatedly to increase the trust factor.  In return for this – 5% back to the school.  That’s it.  5% for your child’s “culture of health and wellness.”

Cathy Sykora

Cathy Sykora

Founder, The Health Coach Group

Cathy helps health coaches build and maintain successful businesses that improve the lives of others.

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Have You Done School Fundraisers?

Do you have healthy alternatives?

I can see going to these places once in a great while.  I’m not saying never.  I’m just saying, don’t put the role models, the people we’ve placed as authority, as sales people.  What are our kids supposed to think?  Mr. XXXX says to go to Burger Joint, and he teaches health and science, it must be okay.

Long Term Effects?


Back in the days that I went to school; there was an excuse.  No one knew, and there hadn’t been any repercussions.  My dad was a food broker.  I was one of the first children to eat “institutional foods”, highly processed foods.  We know better now.  Cancer, diabetes, leaky gut. There’s no excuse, and it’s not worth 5%.  I’d say if we need the money that bad, there should be some part time jobs being considered, not the health of small children.

My dad was a food broker.  I was one of the first children to eat “institutional foods”, they were highly processed boxed, frozen or canned foods.  We know better now.  Cancer, diabetes, leaky gut, there’s been lots of diseases tied to eating processed foods.  The problem is, we still trust authority too much – fund raisers, schools, grocery stores, restaurants.  We assume that members of our community would not feed us poison.  Some of those respected institutions and people aren’t educated enough about processed foods and others just don’t care.  There’s no excuse, and it’s not worth 5%.

I’d say if we need the money that bad, there should be some part time jobs being considered, not the health of small children.

Tips for changing things at your school:

  1. Do it from the inside; I guess if you want to have a voice, you have to do the work. The people who do the jobs get the voice.  It doesn’t matter if you contribute money, you have to put in the time.
  2. Get some advocates, drum up some support ahead of time – buy them a coke and pizza and chat.
  3. Decide ahead of time that you have the time and the desire to fight the fight, because there will be one.
  4. Have some suggestions ready and numbers to back it up.


Ideas for healthy fundraisers:

  • 5K or Walkathon
  • Gift wrap and cards (good stuff) – then, let the kids wrap the presents for them.
  • Silent Auctions are still good
  • I’m sorry. But, with loved ones with addiction, I still would leave gambling and drink out of it (though it would be fun)
  • Mini Golf – one health coach, said they get 50%
  • Chili Cook-off.  I went to one that was a fundraiser for a family whose mom had cancer.  They got payment from the participants and payment to eat the chili – double pay.
  • Here’s an idea.  EVERYONE in the school has an “EAT WITH FAMILY NIGHT.”  You decide it will cost $23 per person to eat at a local restaurant, then, you all go and buy groceries (give them a list) – the groceries may cost $4 per person, so you have a net savings of $19 per person.  If you have 810 children in the school and three members per family participating, then you have 2430 x $20 (it’s still not as much as the tax but easier to round up) – there, you’ve earned $48,600, and you’ve encouraged the family preparation of food and eating. We wouldn’t have to turn our children into a mini sales force for the people in million dollar houses who get 95% of the proceeds, and we’re not pushing the junk on the kids. We’d be teaching the kids and the parents at the same time. If the teachers and administration want to participate – all the better.
  • Raise the price of the annual fair or picnic to cover costs and get more community participation for another auction

There are plenty of ideas to go around.  ALTERNATIVES to turning our children into a mini sales force and setting a dreadful example.


Join in the discussion below

Share your experiences with coaching in the comments below.  Feel free to ask questions, and we’ll do our best to get them all answered right here.

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  1. Karla Roach

    I have struggled with this for years. It is especially hard with having two gluten sensitive children. I like your comment about the health teacher. One of my kids actually scored really bad on a health test because they answered the questions the way that they know not the way that they were taught in school. I told them to read the study guide and talk to me about the differences from now on.

  2. Tina Landa

    Here’s anther idea to add to the list – The Parent Club could host a parent’s night out. They could charge X dollars and have a paint party, dance party, or craft party, etc., in the school gym on a Friday night. The Volunteers would keep the children while other parents were able to go out. They could have the parents who were participating in the night out and dropping off there kiddos pay a fee and bring a healthy snack option to feed the kids. I especially hate when they want them to push candy etc., I would much rather the cards/gift wrap.

  3. Kat Ogar

    Well said Cathy. It’s a wonder children can function at all with the minimalistic approach to healthy nutrition that is being encouraged.


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