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Ice cream club seeks donations for March 15 clothing sale fundraiser

Their motto is: “Changing the community, one scoop at a time.”

These days, however, the members of Junior Scoops are focused more on bags of clothing than servings of ice cream. Although the Inza R. Wood Middle School nonprofit club originally formed to make and share ice cream, club members now are busy planning — and accepting donations for — their second annual clothing drive.

by: SPOKESMAN PHOTO: KATE HOOTS - Students at Inza R. Wood Middle School are accepting donations of clothing and will resell it at a garage sale fundraiser. From left, Jake Hallin, club president Brandon Kyung and Kai McDonald carry bags of donations to a storage room.Last year, the clothing drive was organized as a fundraiser to help a parent and volunteer who was undergoing treatment for cancer. While the clothing drive was successful, it turned out that the person did not really need financial help.

So the Junior Scoops faced a decision. What should they do with the $2,000 they raised?

After much thought, the group donated $400 worth of books to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and invested the rest of the proceeds in an ice cream machine. The next step was planning how to turn their student club into a business that could make money selling tasty frozen treats.

It all started about four years ago, when administrators at Wood shuffled the school schedule to create an advisory period, bringing together mixed groups of students from sixth, seventh and eighth grades. For 20 to 30 minutes, students mingled in mixed-grade groups and became used to working with one another.

Jordan Scoggins, a wellness teacher at Wood, was one of those assigned to lead an advisory period. The curriculum was left mostly to the teachers. Gradually, his advisory class turned into Junior Scoops — the group he still heads as faculty adviser.

“My background is food,” he said. “After a month of making ice cream, they got really good at it. ... People loved it. They said, ‘How can we buy it?’ That’s what got us thinking, ‘What do we have to do to be able to sell?’”

Since that time, group members have stayed busy. They’ve become expert ice cream makers, recruited new members to strengthen their group and worked together on service projects. Right now, in addition to the clothing drive, they are working to mentor younger students, planning a spaghetti bash, sharing ice cream samples with the community and — last but not least — working on a business plan.

“For the next three weeks, every Monday is going to be about writing your business plan. Every entrepreneur needs a business plan,” Scoggins told the group Feb. 3 during a regular club meeting. He has been working with the school district to change the group’s status from club to business.

It’s the next step in the group’s plan to grow young leaders and entrepreneurs at Wood. Just as important is the Junior Scoops’ goal of giving back to the community through fundraisers and through sales of artisan ice cream.

The next fundraiser will be the clothing sale Mar. 15. Clothing from baby to adult sizes, with everything in between, will be sold in the school’s gym from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. All items will be priced at $1. You can sample some of the club’s ice cream that day too.

The group still is seeking donations of gently used clothing in all sizes. Hats and shoes will be accepted too.

“People can donate clothes from now all the way until the day before the sale,” Scoggins said. Donations may be brought to Wood during normal school hours.

The group hopes to make enough money to donate again, leaders say.

“Our plan is to donate to Doernbecher,” Junior Scoops member Emily Nguyen said.

With the sale a little more than a month away, the kids are thinking big.

“Last year we had over 3,000 articles of clothing,” club historian Emily Aube said. Like last year, all items will be sorted by size and gender.

After the donation to Doernbecher, any money leftover will be used to pay off the group’s ice cream machine. Once Junior Scoops is approved as a business, group members plan to sell ice cream at school events, making money that can be used on charitable projects.

Right now, though, group members are focusing their energies on collecting and sorting clothing. And, of course, working on that business plan and dreaming big.

“Even though it’s a lot to do, it’s worth it,” Aube said.

By Kate Hoots
Education reporter
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