Students and parents supporting the Lake Oswego School District Foundation returned from Sunday's walk through Lake Oswego triumphantly. Though a tally of the day's earnings is not yet finalized, organizers say that the event was a success.
Of the people who were home to receive the canvassers, very few neighbors responded with a flat out no, said Al Nodarse, a Forest Hills parent who helped to organize the event. 'Most people were very warm and generous,' he said. 'Even if they gave $5, $10 or $15. It was a very positive experience.'
The nature of the event wasn't to raise a lot of money, said foundation director Mary Puskas, so she doesn't expect big numbers.
'The money that we raise really wasn't the most important factor. It was more about awareness,' echoed Nodarse.
Nodarse, who lives on Fielding Road, talked to four or five neighbors who do not have children in the schools.
'The majority of them really didn't know what was going on,' he said, referring to the proposed school closures due to budget constraints.
'Once a kid is there at their door knocking, it prompts them to finally take action,' he said.
Forest Hills parent Kari Furnanz, her first-grade daughter Mia Furnanz and fellow classmate Ally Hock collected more than $2,000, some of it in coin.
'We had some elderly folks who said they did not have much money to donate but gave us all the spare change they had saved up in a yogurt container,' said Furnanz. 'They mentioned they had been waiting for someone to come by.'
Another Forest Hills team had the same experience - only the coins were saved in a one-gallon Ziploc bag.
'This was one of the most positive things I have been involved in with the schools, and it was a great experience for my daughter to participate in,' said Furnanz. 'I heard virtually unanimously that the kids really enjoyed it and would like to do it again.'
The Bank of Oswego volunteered to count all of the coins collected during the walk, while other foundation volunteers are busy adding up checks and cash donations.
'I think our largest check was $1,000,' said Puskas.
The teams also left a lot of donation envelopes and are hoping for people to begin sending those in, as well.
'We're hoping we're going to get more money from awareness,' said Nodarse. 'We want to do this every year ideally, so that more and more people that don't have kids start giving more money.'