The gala is cancelled?!
Did you hear the rumor that the PTSA cancelled the gala this year?
Roosevelt families – in case you haven’t heard the rumor that there will be no gala this year, I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s true! We know this is an event that many look forward to, and I’d like to take a few minutes to explain the reasoning behind the decision and encourage your support of what we’re doing instead.
The gala – aka auction – is historically our second largest fundraiser of the year. It is an evening of adult conversations, financial donations to the school, food, drink and music. This past spring, the gala was set to take place in person in April. Due to low ticket sales, and in an effort to forestall a financial loss on the event, we pivoted at the last minute to an online auction. We were able to raise a small amount of money, but nothing like the $30,000 that was our target.
I believe that many in our community would put “relationships with other middle school families” at the top of the list of Things That Are Missing or Hard to Create During Middle School. It is a hard transition (in a good year) to meet your kid’s friends’ families. There’s no more standing on the yard before or after school, no more room parents, less carpooling (as more kids get themselves to school), less “playdates” at home, more hours spent working, and other challenges getting to know new people. Layer on COVID, and that can feel exponentially harder.
The gala, while great for adults who have the time and resources to participate in this event, doesn’t necessarily appeal our whole community. Considering higher prices for all things that are required to run a gala, the PTSA has decided to try a new tactic. We’ll scrap the expensive gala and in its place we want to bring some low stakes, free or low cost social events to our community AND also hold some smaller fundraisers throughout the year. Things like a spring Fun Run, a Band concert, a bake sale to raise money for Home Ec, or other ideas yet to be thought of.
We are also rethinking our Sign Me Up (SMU) system. These are pay-to-participate events hosted by members of our community (caregivers or teachers). Traditionally we offer the SMUs at the gala, and then the events take place throughout the summer, fall or spring of the following year. This year we want to offer SMUs on an ongoing basis. In our weekly newsletter, RMS News, we will highlight SMUs that still have space or new SMUs. If you have an idea for hosting an SMU, you can sign up for that here!
To say that we need your help in this new venture would be an understatement. We need help from MANY of you. We know you and your kids and our RMS teachers love getting help from the PTSA. Whether it’s in the form of a salary for our nurse or a teacher, supplies for a classroom or a lunch club, pizza parties for a sports team, a camping trip or promotion activities for 8th graders, a showing of Screenagers, or a back to school BBQ, we hope there’s something for everyone at our school. And the volunteers on the Executive Board simply can’t run all of our programs without help from you. We need you to partner with the PTSA to run a social event, or to lead a fundraising event, or to volunteer at an event. Not only will you support our school by doing so, but you will make connections with other adults.
We cancelled the gala to try to raise money and create community in new ways; and to provide additional events that welcome our entire community. And to pull any of this off, we are asking for your help. Please reach out in any of the following ways if you have questions or want to volunteer.
Hazen Sewell (PTSA President)
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