Program aims to help children in need
Joyce Grattoni of Hoffman Estates, emcee of An Evening of Floral Design at Twin Oaks Middle School in Buffalo Grove presented by the District 96 PTOs to benefit the District 96 Kids in Need Fund, talks about an arrangement of flowers. | Michael Schmidt~S
For more photos from the Evening of Floral design visit buffalogrove.suntimes.com
Updated: November 23, 2012 8:14AM
BUFFALO GROVE — A new initiative to help those in need among the population of Kildeer-Countryside Elementary District 96 got off to a strong start at the beginning of the school year, and received an extra boost this month.
The Kids in Need program is an extension of the seven Parent Teacher Organizations of District 96, and with donation options as easy a button click and as engaging as the recent Evening of Floral Design, the program has already generated more than $13,000 since September.
“The economy has been rough,” but Jon Hitcho, District 96’s assistant superintendent for business services, said Kids in Need has gotten off to a solid start. “It’s a great concept, and our community has really stepped up this year, in its initial offering.”
The program is meant to help families pay for some of the peripheral expenses that come with having children in school, Hitch said — gym uniforms, field trips, the monthly lunches brought in by restaurants and such.
Kids in Need got off the ground with $9,000 during registration for the new year, he said; while enrolling students online, parents had the option to donate to the program by clicking on one of the pre-set value buttons.
“We are having more and more families experiencing crises,” he said, which drove district leaders to create the program. “It’s been very generous of the community. People understand exactly what it’s for. It’s much better than I would have ever guessed.”
Part of those much-better results came from the district’s 5-kilometer fun-run, which generated another $4,000 for Kids in Need. Its most recent activity was its first Evening of Floral Design, held at Twin Groves; florists from four nearby shops created basket arrangements in front of an audience of 60, explained why and how they made their creations that way, then auctioned the baskets.
“It’s bringing out the creativeness, and the elaborate things,” said Mary Kay Egeland, who owns Barrington Flower Shop with her husband, Glen, and was part of the Kids in Need show. She said floral shows are becoming a popular trend with similar fundraising groups in other districts.
“The Fremd one is always sold out,” Egeland said. “It makes us feel good, that you’re wanted to come and do those things.”
Hitcho said he had no numbers for what District 96’s needy population might be, but was sure that they were bigger than what Kids in Need had raised so far.
“The more people that know about this, hopefully, the more money we can raise,” he said.