Highland Lakes businesses chip in for 2014 Marble Falls Project Graduation

CONNIE SWINNEY • PICAYUNE STAFF

MARBLE FALLS — Local businesses have discovered a way to promote their products and raise thousands of dollars for a program to keep seniors safe on graduation night.

Organizers with Marble Falls High School Project Graduation have launched the 2014 Project Net Profit campaign, encouraging businesses to donate proceeds from select goods or services over a period of time to the program.

“As businesses, we’re hit up all the time for flat-out donations. This fundraiser is tying sales to donations, so you’re not out of pocket,” said Judy Miller, co-owner of Outback Patio Furnishings, 2000 U.S. 281. “It’s tied to revenue, so, to me, it seemed like a logical thing to do.”

Miller donated $300 — $10 from each Adirondack chair she sold in the fall.

She is among other parents of graduating seniors who are promoting 2014 Project Net Profit for the the class of 2014.

The campaign evolved from a retailer Give Back program, with Which Wich and Coffee, 311 U.S. 281, donating portions of November sales to the Marble Falls High School program.

Other businesses that have pledged to participate include Salem’s Jewelry, 518 U.S. 281, which selected May to offer proceeds from watch sales, Miller said.

“We can promote that Salem’s is participating in a give-back program for watches that are sold,” Miller said.

Another businesses that has pledged to participate with upcoming product specials is Calvary Bookstore, 510 U.S. 281.

“Businesses are giving back to the community to allow these kids to have a nice, safe evening together on their graduation night before they head off to start their new lives,” said Scott Ross, chairman of the Marble Falls High School 2014 Project Graduation. “It’s a worthwhile cause.”

After graduation June 7, volunteers will load the class of 2014 onto buses to travel to the Main Event in San Antonio, where graduates spend the night watching movies, bowling, dancing and playing games. To pay for the program, volunteers host various fundraisers throughout the school year.

Project Graduation coordinators said they have raised nearly $10,000. Their goal is $35,000. Nearly half of the money will pay for the venue. Other expenses include prize giveaways such as electronics, computer devices and gift cards.

“Just over four months until graduation, we do have a long way to go,” Ross said.

Also, the organization is selling $10 tickets for prizes that include a gun safe, an outdoor fire pit, a large-screen TV, a Microsoft tablet and a hour-long helicopter ride for three adults. The drawing is in the spring.

Coordinators said they count on the business campaign to make large strides toward their goal.

“It would allow us to advertise for the businesses and get people in. I started this year. This is something I could do every year,” Miller said. “If I can increase my sales, it makes sense for me to give back to Project Graduation.”

To participate in the fundraiser, buy tickets or donate, call (512) 755-1934.

connie@thepicayune.com