Blair's largest fundraiser looks to build on last year's success
The Blair citrus sale, the Parent Teacher Student Association's (PTSA) biggest fundraiser of the year, began in September. The PTSA uses the citrus sale to raise money for all of the activities they partake in, but it mainly helps fund After Prom, an event that aims to give students something fun to do following Prom.Rebecca Smith, a Blair parent who in charge of the fundraiser, believes that the citrus sale is a two-in-one fundraiser and community service event. "The citrus sale likes to think of itself as a fundraiser and a community service event all in one – helping Blair, helping the [English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)] students and helping the homeless of Montgomery County," Smith said.
Last year, the PTSA raised over $15,000 and had an option where customers could buy fruit to donate to Shepherd's Table. In addition, all of last year's unclaimed fruit was donated to the ESOL department.
ESOL Department head Margarita Bohorquez expressed that the students greatly appreciated and enjoyed the donations last year and that she certainly is looking forward to the sale donating again this year. "The students very much enjoyed the donation and I'm sure would want the sale to do the same thing again this year," Bohorquez explained.
This year's sale will be similar to those of past years, although there is a new fruit vendor: Florida Indian River Groves, Inc. "We had a lot of complaints last year that the quality of the fruit was bad, so we spent the summer researching other fruit vendors and interviewing candidates and checking references, and we think we found a really good one," Smith said.
She added that the new vendors claim they will pick the fruit, load it onto a truck and deliver it to Blair all in a short amount of time, as opposed to the past vendors who all took longer to deliver.
Jeff Silver, Blair's contact at Florida Indian River Groves, expressed that the company takes pride in the freshness of its fruit. "We are a family owned and operated business and our citrus is harvested fresh from the Grove here in Vero Beach, Florida and is shipped directly to Montgomery Blair High School," Silver said. "What distinguishes us from other citrus companies is that our citrus is picked, packed and shipped fresh to the customer within a few days off the tree."
Along with the improved freshness of the fruit, the PTSA would like to encourage online, paperless, ordering. "This year the website is much better than years' past so we are hoping people will use it. It not only saves paper and postage, but it saves us the manpower of having to manually enter the orders into our database," Smith said.
Building off of last year's success and improving a few things for this year, Smith and the PTSA expressed that they expect a very successful fundraiser this year.
To support the citrus sale, visit their website to purchase oranges, grapefruit, clementines and more. The sale ends on Nov. 19.
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