Sunday, April 25, 2004

Mulch sale piles up funds

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Danny Ingstrup, 15, hoists a bag of mulch Saturday as part of the Loveland High School annual mulch sale.
The Cincinnati Enquirer/ERNEST COLEMAN
LOVELAND - Hundreds of school volunteers Saturday performed some fund-raising alchemy, turning 350 tons of mulch into about $35,000 for school sports.

The annual Loveland High School mulch sale, sponsored by the Hamilton County school district's athletic boosters, is the single largest money-making event for the boosters' $100,000 yearly budget, said Loveland athletic booster chairman Ken Deis.

More than 200 high school athletes, along with dozens more parents and community volunteers, volunteered to load and unload more than 15,000 bags of mulch purchased by residents throughout the school system.

"It's amazing to see," said Deis of the convoy of trucks and other vehicles belonging to school supporters who fan out through the school district to deliver the mulch to buyers.

Though selling mulch has become an increasingly popular school fund-raising device among Greater Cincinnati schools, few do it on the scale performed by volunteers at the 4,300-student Loveland school system, explained Superintendent Kevin Boys.

"It's pallet after pallet of mulch going out to hundreds of homes in about six hours, and it's pretty impressive," said Boys.

He said Loveland's 19 boys and girls sports are "truly funded by gate receipts and athletic booster contributions like this and it all adds value to what we can offer our young athletes."

Loveland High School Athletic Director Mike Rapp said that though the mulch deliveries took only a half-dozen hours to complete, "it's a year-round undertaking in terms of planning."


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