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Upcoming events to raise funds for East Longmeadow schools

Aug. 27, 2014 | Chris Goudreau

EAST LONGMEADOW – It’s back to school season and two events to benefit the town’s schools are set to take place this month – a 5K Run for Education on Sept. 21 and a Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) sponsored clothing and paper shredding drive on Sept. 6.

Katie Reilly, president of the PTO at Meadow Brook Elementary School, said the clothing and paper shredding drive is scheduled take place at East Longmeadow High School (ELHS) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will also feature recycling of old electronics.

The drive has been taking place for about five years and is a collaboration between all five schools in the town, she said. Funds raised by the drive equally benefit the PTOs of each school.

Several thousands of dollars are usually raised every year, she added.

Donated clothes and textiles will be weighed and exchanged for cash at the current market rate, according to a press release. 

The clothing items will be shipped overseas and sold to boost affordable clothing markets in developing countries. 

Clothing can be dropped off at the main entrance of ELHS on Maple Street, Reilly said.

Electronics recycling can also be dropped off and fees range from $5 for small appliances such as laptops and toaster ovens and $25 for large appliances, which includes items such as freezers, refrigerators, and lawnmowers.

Many old electronics include hazardous materials, which need to be properly recycled for safety purposes, Reilly said.

Paper shredding will take place on site at ELHS for a $5 fee per bag or box of paper, the press release states.

Chris Blair, an organizer raising money for ELHS, said between $400 and $500 will be used for the high school’s annual staff luncheon, which usually takes place in May.

Volunteers for the clothing drive usually included four to five high school students for community service hours, she said. 

“It’s been fun and it’s been a great fundraiser,” Blair added.

The East Longmeadow Educational Endowment Fund (ELEEF) is sponsoring a 5K race and walk, which raises about $3,000 to $5,000 annually to award grants for teachers in the school district for items not covered in the operating budget, Jennifer Merrigan, an ELEEF member, said.

“It’s extremely important if we are going to better our schools and invest in our children,” she added.

Grants awarded to East Longmeadow teachers typically include teaching resources such as iPods and musical instruments, Merrigan said.

The race will begin at Maybury Material Handling, 90 Denslow Road, at 9 a.m. on Sept. 21. A kids fun run will also begin at 10 a.m. At least 100 people participated last year and the ELEEF is hoping to improve that number.

The costs are $35 for preregistration, $40 for registration the day of the race, $20 for individuals under 18 years of age, and $5 for the kids fun run registration the day of the race.

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