Havre Daily News
Two Havre fourth-graders sold a combined $2,335 worth of candy to raise funds for local elementary schools, winning CD players.
The fundraising drive, put together by the Havre Parent-Teacher Organization, netted about $19,000 after students sold about 8,600 boxes of candy this year.
“Every year it has gotten bigger,” Havre PTO president Shelli Fisk said.
Fisk said the amount is $700 more than last year's efforts.
Children were awarded with a CD player if they sold $760 or more in of candy.
Vicki Hazel, said her 11-year-old son, Zak Canning, who sold $770 worth of candy, was a born salesman.
“You can tell sometimes in life what God intended and that is definitely his calling,” Hazel said. “He could sell you ocean-front property in Arizona.”
Mikayla Bessette, a 9-year-old Sunnyside Intermediate School fourth grader, sold $760 worth of candy in the two-week sales drive. She said she did most of her sales over the phone to friends and relatives.
Sasha Greytak, a Sunnyside fifth-grader, sold $805 worth of candy.
Hazel said her son's main motivation for the sales was the CD player prize.
Zak, a Sunnyside fourth-grader, told his mom he would sell more than $700 in candy so he wouldn't have to pay for half of a new CD player. Hazel said she and her son split the cost of such purchases, but he wanted to earn a free one.
“I kind of snickered because I thought that was a lot,” Hazel said. “But he did it.”
The students from Sunnyside Intermediate, Lincoln-McKinley Primary and Highland Park Early Primary schools won prizes for how many $5 boxes of candy they were able to sell.
Both kids said their sales pitch was simple - “Hi, my name is ... and I am selling candy for my school.”
Although the two share sales tactics, the type of CDs they will play in their new players vary.
Zak likes Eminem and Tupac Shakur, while Mikayla prefers Toby Keith and Shania Twain.
Mikayla said her favorite candy she sold is the peanut butter filled chocolate bears. The sale also included chocolate-covered almonds and nut clusters.
Zak said he didn't buy any candy himself because he is not fond of chocolate.
Mikayla said her original goal was to sell $460 worth of candy but when she went to her father Randy Bessette's workplace and sold about $300 in goodies there, she bumped up her mission to $760.
Zak has participated in five fundraising sales in schools. He said he raised about $800 for a drive when he lived in Browning and won a scooter.
Last year's candy drive netted $18,600 to be used on new playground equipment.
The PTO voted this week to use the amount earned in this year's sale to revamp the entrances at the three schools.
Fisk said the organization discussed the possibility of adding benches and art work in the schools. “It will make it a lot more comfortable, brighter and nicer to walk into,” she said.
When told what the raised funds will be used for, Mikayla thought the idea was “sweet.”
“I would like to see a drawing contest with the winner's artwork displayed in the entry,” she said.
A portion of the funds also will be used to purchase six surround-sound speaker systems for the classrooms. The systems include a small, clip-on microphone to amplify the teachers' voices. Organization funds have been used to supply schools with 12 systems in the last two years.
Students are delivering the last of the candy orders.
Other PTO fundraising efforts include collections of box tops, Campbell's Soup labels and ink-jet printer cartridges that are traded for money.