8th Graders Fundraising by Selling Wreaths and Raking Leaves

By Lura Jackson


The 8th grade class trip can be a lifelong memory, and while the current class at Calais Elementary School hasn’t yet determined where they’ll be able to go, they are actively fundraising for the opportunity to embark on a memorable adventure. With the help of Mingo’s Evergreen Products, the class is selling 22” decorated wreaths, along with raking leaves by donation for any community members that request it. In addition, several donations of items have been made for the class to sell or raffle off, including a portrait of the Patriots’ Tom Brady by Calais’ own self-taught artist extraordinaire, Paul Redding.

As one would expect from a Mingo’s wreath, the wreaths are top-quality and made with local balsam pines that will retain their fragrant scent throughout the season. Made locally by hand, the wreaths will come pre-decorated and ready to hang. The wreaths were sold to the class at cost, meaning all profits will go to the class. Per Alden Mingo, each class typically sells “several hundred” wreaths, raising a significant amount for their trip. 

“It’s great for the kids to get out and learn how to sell products,” Mingo said. “It gives them a better idea of the value of a dollar.”

“It’s good community relations for Mingo’s Evergreen Products,” said Laverne Redding, who works for the company and also has a grandson in the 8th grade class. “It helps out the local school, and it gives the kids the opportunity to gain a little experience with salesmanship.”

The wreaths may be purchased through any 8th grader or by contacting Jamie Thigpen at 214-4753 or Jthigpen@calaisschools.org or Lisa Tirrell at 214-6543 or lmtirrell@gmail.com. The deadline to purchase a wreath is November 15th, and delivery will be on November 25th.

If you have a lawn in need of raking, you can contact Lisa or Jamie with the information above and they will schedule a time for the students to come and rake the lawn. However, the students will generally only be able to rake during daylight and thus may be limited to the first week of the month, or early on Saturdays. If you see a group of students raking a lawn, you may request them to rake your lawn as well, and they will accommodate if they can, Tirrell advises. 

For sports fans, be sure to purchase a ticket or several for Paul Redding’s charcoal portrait of Tom Brady, quarterback for the New England Patriots, now on display at Rachel Ashley Jewelers in downtown Calais. The raffle will be drawn on 12/12. 

Those of a more practical nature will appreciate the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets on 50 gallons of heating oil, donated by V.L. Tammaro. That drawing will also be held on 12/12.

There will be additional upcoming raffles and sales that will be posted on Facebook at the “CALAIS WITH SURROUNDING AREAS SWAP SELL AND WANTED” channel. Among the items being sold are Little Caesar’s Pizza Kits, a football basket raffle, and a possible ice fishing derby. Stay tuned to the channel to see how you can make a purchase and help the Calais High School Class of 2022 enjoy their year-end trip.