Volunteers with the Belle Plaine chapter of Dollars for Scholars

Volunteers with the Belle Plaine chapter of Dollars for Scholars sold Cash Calendars at the Belle Plaine High School football homecoming game last Friday, Sept. 27.

Belle Plaine Dollars for Scholars, a fundraising institution that benefits graduating high school seniors seeking post-secondary education in Belle Plaine since 1991, has added another fundraiser to its repertoire.

Cash Calendars, the latest offering from DFS, allows those over 18 years of age the chance to win back the $25 it takes to purchase the calendar, or even more.

Marked on the 2020 calendars are 265 days with various dollar amounts ranging from $25 to $500 dollars. With each calendar purchase, patrons are given one entry into the 265 drawings throughout the year.

Patrons have the chance to win $25 on ordinary days or hundreds of dollars on holidays, organizers said. There are 1,000 calendars available in total.

According to DFS President Nicole Giesen and board member Lori Kruger, who spoke with the Herald about the new fundraiser, the launch of the calendars has brought out the best in some of Belle Plaine’s upperclassmen who kicked off the calendar sale at the start of the school year.

The Belle Plaine chapter of DFS has recently decided to add the junior class at Belle Plaine High School as part of their fundraising efforts. This, Giesen believes, was a crucial step in laying the groundwork for next year and years to come. With a projected graduating class of 130, the current juniors   will require more funds than previous classes.

Despite the fact  that the junior class will not directly benefit from fundraising efforts until next year when they are poised to graduate, the class has remained active with calendar sales, according to Giesen and Kruger.

“There have been some that have really stepped up  to fill that role. It’s been great to see the juniors stepping up. I think they’re finding that they’re easy to sell,” Kruger said.  

Now that the school year has hit its stride, DFS hopes to be at as many home sporting events as possible until Nov. 29 when sales of the calendars wrap up.

Giesen noted that she is aware   parents and students are “inundated” with various fundraisers  and other programs. To combat the perceived fundraiser burnout and to avoid competing with other worthwhile fundraisers, DFS hopes to branch out to the greater community, not just those with close ties to the school district, Giesen said.

“We just love this program, and we want it to thrive, and I think the greater community feels that way, too,” Giesen said.

Amid the addition of the Cash Calendars, Giesen feels like now is the time to start adding to the DFS volunteer ranks by turning to the parents of students in junior high or younger.

“We need that depth in our volunteers so that as our children are aging out of school, they can replace those who are done supporting the program as their kids graduate,” Giesen said.

As an extension of their effort to engage the Belle Plaine community at large and as the sale of the Calendars comes into full swing, DFS remains open to collaboration wherever they can find it and expressed interest in partnering with area businesses to sell the calendars. The public is invited to follow the Belle Plaine Dollars for Scholars Facebook Page for updates on locations to pick up a Cash Calendar.

With funds raised through their annual fundraisers, the Belle Plaine chapter of Dollars for Scholars creates scholarships by matching the amounts donated by local organizations, businesses, and individuals. Scholarships are merit based and available to any Belle Plaine High School graduating senior who applies, fills out all required application sections and meets all required deadlines for application, scholarship acceptance and scholarship redemption. Student applications are scored anonymously and given a rank. Award amounts are determined by the student’s scoring rank from their completed application, the number of eligible students participating and the amount of money raised that scholarship year.

Full Cash Calendar and DFS Details

Contact Information, Website and Social Media

•Scholarship America Website: www.scholarshipamerica.org

•Facebook page: @belleplainedollarsforscholars

•Twitter: @BellePlaineDFS

DFS 2020 Fundraiser Dates

•Cash Calendar Sales: Sept. 13 - Nov. 29

•Cash Calendar Raffle Drawing: Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Neisen’s Corner Bar

•Phone-a-Thon: Last weekend in January 2020/First week in February

•Car Raffle Sales: March 16, 2020 – April 17, 2020

•Car Raffle Drawing: During Prom Grand March – May 2, 2020

Cash Calendar Details

•$25/per calendar - Cash or check made payable to Belle Plaine Dollars for Scholars

•Must be 18 years or older to purchase a ticket or to win a prize

•265 days of winners – all tickets are entered for each day of drawings. You can win more than once.  

•Giving away $10,000 over the 2020 Year

•Only 1,000 calendars sold

•Drawing held on Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Neisen’s Corner Bar

•Winners need not be present to win

•Each month’s winners will be posted on our website on the first of that month.

•Prizes will be in the form of a check and mailed at the beginning of each month.

•Email us to purchase calendar or call/text Lori Kruger at 507-360-5402.

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