TROY — The parking lots of Forest Elementary School were filled to the brim with thousands of “mumkins” on Tuesday, thanks to the work of Forest’s entire student body.
The mumkins, a nickname for chrysanthemums in pumpkin pots, were delivered along with other potted mum varieties after a school-wide funding raising effort by students grades K-5.
“This whole thing began last year, and we saw a little bit of success,” said PTO co-president Natalie Rohlfs. “We brought it back, because we wanted to continue to grow on that.”
“We had a big active assembly with the students to kick it off,” said PTO co-president Aimee Maurer. “Our sales rep, Adam Sherman, came in with all the prizes and showed the different flowers to get the kids excited.”
This year’s online sales option provided the convenience of allowing students to coordinate sales through social networking, and took away the need for kids to carry cash and checks into school.
“It increased sales tremendously,” Rohlfs confirmed. “All the kids rallied behind it. It seemed like we had really high participation from the school kids, even if they only sold one or two items. They got amped up from the beginning and the community was very supportive.”
“Every student got their own code, which they could pass along to their friends and family,” Maurer said. “Mums still have to be picked up here, but it was nice, because it removed the need transact in person.”
Approximately 133 students sold a total of 1,403 mums.
All mum purchases ranged between $15-25, depending upon size and pot variety, which included “mumkin,” “mumpire bat,” “mumkenstein,” “bride of mumkenstein,” “chrysanthe-cat,” and “mum-my.”
Maurer and Rohlfs confirmed the student body improved on last year’s sales by over 500 mumkins.
Funds raised will benefit the ongoing curriculum, programs, and supplies used daily at Forest Elementary.
“We’re here to support Forest Elementary School and their students,” Rohlfs said. “This year, funds will go toward curriculum support for teachers in their classrooms, and whatever Principal Hohlbein needs for classroom support as well. We’re also going to give an all-school assembly or program for all the students.”
A $500 scholarship will also be available in the spring to former Forest Elementary School students.
Maurer and Rohlfs confirmed the team intends to hold the mumkin fundraiser again next autumn, with the goal of matching this year’s sales. A springtime fundraiser has also been scheduled, in which students will sell spring flowers throughout the month of April.
“It’s been a good team effort this year,” Rohlfs said. “We had a great group that worked together to brainstorm and contribute.”
“It’s been tremendous,” Maurer said. “There were a lot of after-school hours put in, a lot of parent help, and the kids were super-excited about it, which you can’t beat.”