NEW BREMEN — Elementary and middle school students will be digging through their couches next week to help raise money for the New Bremen/New Knoxville Rotary Sunshine Project.
The fundraiser, Rays of Sunshine, sponsored by the New Bremen Middle School Student Council, will be held Oct. 17-25. Students have been encouraged to find loose change to help raise money for an accessible playground that will be built in Bremenfest Park next year. Southwestern Auglaize County Chamber of Commerce Director Scott Frey spoke with students Friday afternoon about the fundraiser.
“How many of you have a couch at home?” Frey asked students at the assembly.
“A couch is going to be important to you.”
Frey asked students about how much they liked playing outside and on the playground and told them the Rotary is raising money to build a special playground.
“Think about if you were in a wheelchair and couldn’t walk,” he said.
“How easy would it be for you to play on the playground? The New Bremen/New Knoxville Rotary is going to build a special playground in New Bremen.”
Frey explained the playground will be accessible to all kids, the only playground of its kind in a 70-mile radius.
So far, the Rotary has raised approximately $101,000 in cash and approximately $30,000 in donated material and labor of the overall $250,000 goal.
New Bremen students can bring in change any morning next week to be collected.
“We’re going to have a collection jar for each grade and what we’re going to collect is change for the playground,” Frey told students.
Each grade level will compete to bring in the most change for the Sunshine Project to earn a prize at the end of the week.
“The winning class that collects the most change next week is going to get pizza,” Frey told students, who erupted into an excited roar.
“Every day, you’re going to hear an announcement telling you which grade is in the lead.”
Middle School Principal Howard Overman noted that the contest will be fair.
“It’s going to be based on the percentage of change brought in per student,” he said, noting that the percentage will make the competition fair for each grade level.
Frey said it is beneficial to have the local youth involved in the project.
“One of the best benefits of this project is that we’ve got the local youth involved helping special needs kids,” he said.
For more information on the Sunshine Project, visit RotarySunshineProject.org or “Like” the “New Bremen New Knoxville Rotary Sunshine Project-For special needs children” page on Facebook.