Even with the cancellation of annual fundraisers and the uncertainty that surrounds the pandemic, Northside parent teacher associations are learning to adapt.
In fact, most were able to continue to raise funds and are preparing to return with a bang for their annual fundraisers.
Mamie Hollingsworth, Jackson Prep PAT president, said they are continuing to plan for the 2021 Party for Prep as normal.
“The PAT is looking forward to hosting our major fundraiser, Party for Prep, at the Westin on April 9, 2021, with a live and silent auction and entertainment by Mustache the Band,” Hollingsworth said.
At Prep, the PAT supports the school by hosting teacher luncheons, all-parent meetings, prospective student support, grade-level parent support and their biggest event, Party for Prep.
The PAT’s annual and only fundraiser, Party for Prep, raises money for numerous classroom and campus enhancements as well as the school’s teacher endowment fund and teacher appreciation events.
“Our annual budget varies and is based on what we raise through Party for Prep ticket sales, live and silent auctions, and generous parent and community sponsors,” Hollingsworth told the Sun. “These funds allow us to fulfill requests from a ‘Teacher Wish List’ at the end of each year, providing equipment and resources to support and enhance teachers and students in the classroom. They also allow us to show our parents’ support for teachers and staff with teacher luncheons and by providing snacks and treats in the lounges.”
This year, due to COVID-19, they were unable to host back to school parties for students or this year’s Party for Prep. However, Hollingsworth said they were still able to raise funds as ticket holders opted to continue their support despite the event’s cancellation.
“We hope to resume grade level events as venues reopen and restrictions on gatherings ease,” Hollingsworth said.
The St. Andrew’s Parent Association (SAPA) is back in full swing as they are enrichment, parental support and financial assistance to all aspects of the school.
To meet that goal, SAPA has three major fundraisers each year: Farm to Table, a multi-course food and wine feast highlighting locally sourced ingredients prepared by a nationally recognized chef; Arts on the Green, a family festival held each spring; and Starry Night, the annual SAPA parent party that showcases the diversity of the St. Andrew’s community.
“SAPA provides tangible goods, intangible support and community outreach efforts and events,” SAPA President Joyce Marion said. “For example, SAPA’s efforts and funds contributed in tangible ways to the innovative new i2 classrooms and the new chapel on the North campus that, among other things, will serve as a symbol of our spiritual core.”
SAPA also supports community-building activities, such as speakers for students and the larger community, parent functions, classroom and grade-level parties and faculty hospitality.
According to Marion, SAPA contributes to the annual fund, recently fulfilled a five-year pledge to the Forward Saints campaign, and has made a five-year pledge to the school’s current capital campaign.
“Due to the pandemic, Arts on the Green 2020 and Starry Night could not be held in their traditional format,” Marion said. “We had an amazing group of parent volunteers who remained flexible and steadfast in their efforts. The generosity of our corporate sponsors and other kind supporters in the community allowed SAPA to continue fulfilling our purpose.”
They also held an online auction of art pieces created by lower school students and were able to donate funds in support of another school in the community through t-shirt sales from Arts on the Green.
Marion said Arts on the Green, scheduled for April 24, 2021, and Farm to Table “will continue to highlight our sense of community and never-ending spirit of finding a way or making one.”
“Our creative parents are already excitedly planning fun virtual events and activities to make this one of the best years ever,” she said. “With the virtual format, our friends, alums and supporters from around the country who are not usually able to attend can now join us.”
Jackson Academy Association (JAA) President Allison New said that although Blue and White Night, JAA’s annual fundraiser, was canceled this year, the 2021 will be “bigger and better.”
According to New, the JAA provides educational tools in K3-12 classrooms, hosts several beloved school events, and furnishes many other benefits to students, faculty and parents.
“Our signature event, A Blue and White Night, was canceled this year due to the pandemic,” New said. “Planning for this event is underway for 2021 and the event will be bigger and better than ever when it returns. We do however have several fantastic plans in place to allow this year to be as successful as ever.”
Plans are underway to bring the annual carnival directly to students this year.
“This exciting day will take place in October and will include several of the beloved carnival games brought directly to the children while at school,” New said. “The JAA plans to fulfill all of our normal activities and services we provide to the school, while adhering to the guidelines set forth within our city and state. Things may look a little different this year, but we are still very hopeful to have a fantastic year while providing for our school.”
Shannon Roundtree, Madison-Ridgeland Academy (MRA) Parents and Teacher Association (PATS) President, said that while their annual fundraiser, Gardens of Madison County, was canceled this year, they have already lined everything up for the next event.
In fact, most of the homes on the schedule for this year have agreed to do the next event.
“This will be our 27th annual Gardens of Madison County, and it will be held April 30 through May 2,” Roundtree said. “We are pushing forward with hopes that we can have it this year.
The mission of PATS is to involve all MRA parents, faculty members, and administrative personnel in programs, projects and activities designed to benefit the students and school. All MRA parents along with MRA Faculty members and administrative personnel are members of PATS.
In addition to Gardens of Madison County, PATS also hosts the following events: New Patron Ice Cream Social, Back-to-School Luncheon for Faculty/Staff and Administration and monthly “Moms in Touch” meetings.
As for the monthly meetings, Roundtree said they hosted their first meeting via Zoom. However, the upcoming meeting will be held in person as their meeting space will allow for social distancing and attendees will wear masks.