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Cloudy,65°
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Baldwin 4 Children takes a look back
(Page 2 of 3)
Donovan Berthoud/Herald
Volunteers from Baldwin 4 Children organized fundraisers over eight months to restore programs at Baldwin schools that were cut in the 2013-14 budget. Back row from left were Richard Damm, Heather Cameron, Rico Nardone and Pat Jenkins. Front row from left were Jen Clavin, Linda Degen, Lynn Maniace, Matthew Maniace, Deborah ReBore and Mary Jane Kearns.

Despite missing that first deadline goal, B4C continued to host fundraisers throughout the summer, fall and winter. Local busi’nesses got involved by donating a portion of their proceeds on certain days, and car washes, jewelry sales and cocktail hours all raised money. Baldwinpalooza, an all-day music festival last August, brought in more than $20,000, and a walkathon last fall raised more than $12,000.

Erik Mahler, co-president of the Baldwin Chamber of Commerce, said business owners knew it was important to raise money for the schools. “A strong school district allows for strong purchasing power by its residents,” he said. “When the schools go, unfortunately, so do businesses.”

Damm estimates that 75 to 100 people consistently volunteered throughout B4C’s eight months of events. At first, he recalled, he worried that volunteers would stop showing up once the particular program they were fighting for was restored, but that didn’t happen. “Even more people showed up as it went on,” he said, adding that many people who didn’t have children in the district pitched in.

Scannell said he was grateful for Baldwin 4 Children’s hard work. “Their efforts were nothing short of inspiring,” he said. “And I know that our students have benefited tremendously from participating in the activities that we were able to restore.”

One program that was saved was the high school musical, which was staged in April. Evan Barnett, who graduated last month, said he and his classmates were worried after last year’s budget vote that a lot of their favorite programs would be cut. But Barnett got the chance to perform in “The Wiz” after all. “It saved my senior year,” he said.

Clavin said she wasn’t surprised by the community’s response, given Baldwin’s character. “It’s a strong community,” she said.

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