When the Washington Township High School Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) held its popular fundraiser Blended Joe Coffee earlier this month, it marked one of many the group hosts during the year to benefit the school.
The effort also elicited praise for the women who make up that PTO.
“I have been on the PTO in Washington Township for 11 years and have held 12 positions in that time frame,” said organization President Danielle Moore. “But these are amazing women, and we work extremely hard to raise funds for the school.”
The PTO consists of four executive board members whose fundraising helps the school purchase items outside of district funds and create scholarships for students, while also collaborating with local businesses.
The current board includes Vice President Jennifer Molner, Treasurer Robin Duym and Secretary Melissa Ausuini.
Other annual PTO events include a craft fair and Dine and Donate nights at local restaurants. But the Blended Joe fundraiser beginning Aug. 30 is familiar to many township residents. The company is run by a local township family who have students in the township elementary school.
According to Moore, many of the fundraisers hosted by the PTO are collaborations with local businesses.
“We try to keep a lot of our fundraisers local, and this one (Blended Joe) is very popular,” she noted. “We are grateful to help out local businesses because we are a local nonprofit.”
Funds raised by the PTO each school year have a variety of purposes, including the purchase of more than 600 T-shirts for the incoming freshman class and for teachers. Other small contributions made by the organization include money to fund teacher grants and special programs or events, as well as supplies for individual classrooms.
But according to Moore, the PTO has a hand in larger projects to benefit the school as a whole.
“We just recently used $25,000 to purchase a movie license and projector and screen for the school,” she said. “The teachers are now able to use that to their advantage.”
The PTO reserves separate funds for senior scholarships at the end of the year that amount to $20,000 annually.
“We try to give scholarships out to everyone, not just kids going for a higher education at a university,” Moore explained. “We want to keep it equal.”
For Moore, the best part of being on the PTO is the ability to see first hand how its efforts affect students.
“I love seeing these kids smile,” she said. “It is the best part of my day. I work in the school district because I adore these kids and the staff is always friendly and kind.”
The Blended Coffee event will run through Sept.23. To purchase coffee through the fundraiser, visit the township school district website home page and use the QR code associated with the event.
For anyone interested in joining the PTO, executive-board elections will be held in the spring of 2023. The organization is also open to volunteers who can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the PTO and its yearly fundraising, visit wtps.org.