Appalachia children

School Fund Raiser Memories

Jesus Pictures

A while back we were warming up in the back of a church before performing when I noticed the picture above hanging on the wall.

I was immediately taken back to elementary school and the wonder of seeing many similar pictures when students sold them as a way to raise money for the big 8th grade trip.

In those days the big trip wasn’t to a different country nor even a far distant state. The big 8th grade trip at Martins Creek School was to Lake Winnepesaukah in Chattanooga TN.

The school now services Pre-K through 8th grade. At that time it was 1st-8th, then K-8th.

None of the classes took many, if any, field trips. But all the younger students looked forward to the day when they were classified as 8th graders and were able to go on the famed trip to Lake Winnepesaukah.

My older brother Steve was several grades ahead of me, but I remember the fund raisers from his class because he of course brought them home.

One fund raiser was the selling of religious type pictures like the guardian angel one above. Another one was candy that came in small round tins. The tins had a key you had to insert in one side of the top and then slowly roll it back to open the goodies.

The last time I was at my Granny Gazzie’s there were several of the religious pictures on pressboard like the one I spotted at the church. Maybe they’re still hanging there where she put them.

As we tuned up one last time before entering the sanctuary I wondered if someone from Steve’s class sold the picture to a member of the church. I wondered if Granny Gazzie bought hers from Steve, one of her other grandkids, or a student from the community.

It’s amazing that a picture on a wall can call up so many vivid memories and feelings of people and times that are long since gone.


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  • Reply
    Shelley Clott
    September 15, 2021 at 1:58 am

    On the first day of Kindergarten, my son was given a box of 44 candy bars to take home. He was so sad when he realized that they weren’t a gift and he couldn’t eat them unless we bought them. He couldn’t understand why he had to buy something from himself. I kind if thought it was wrong for the school to hand little ones a huge box of candy without an explanation of what was expected. The little ones have no concept of what’s going on that first day. That experience where my son was so upset over it all on his first day of school sort of soured me on ever letting him sell anything for school.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    I remember in 8th grade , we were selling tickets for king and queen. I sold the most and won queen in 8th grade. I work really hard for that. We sold candy bars for different things.

  • Reply
    Patricia Price
    September 14, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    My grandmother had the angel picture over her bed. I have one, as well. My grandson loves it. And we are from Bradley Co so we know all about Lake Winnie!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    I was in the doctor’s office when a picture reminiscent of “the old days” stirred a memory. A few months before I had been feeling a lot of pressure in my right ear; about a month before the visit to the doctor I had suddenly become fall down dizzy – could not tell which way was up – I kept thinking it would go away – couldn’t figure it out – finally saw a doctor which led to several visits – ultimately in an ENTs office to drain my ear drum which was by then about to burst. Until then I had been telling doctors that I had not had problems with my ears before. As the doctor was “numbing” my eardrum I noticed a “nostalgic” picture on the wall of a little girl dressed as they did in the fifties, getting her ear checked; suddenly I was “back in” my first grade classroom (circa 1955) sitting with my right ear next to the classroom heater and not particularly pleased with the whole situation. When we got home I asked Dad if I had earaches as a child. He looked at me, very surprised – – “Don’t you remember? You had lots of earaches as a kid but went to school anyway (emphatically said with a firm rap on the table). Now, why I don’t remember those earaches, I can’t say; on the other hand, I do remember selling a wide variety of candies, nuts, magazines, wrapping paper, and pens and mugs with special messages for Father’s Day & Mother’s Day – Usually we were selling them to get books for the library, permission to perform HMS Pinafore or some other musical, or PE equipment. One time we sold them to help our dearly loved custodian whose wife had to have a serious surgery. – – – – Goodness Tipper – your posts always stir up memories!

  • Reply
    Dennis M Morgan
    September 14, 2021 at 5:34 pm

    I also sold packs of flower and vegetable seeds when I was in elementary school. I never knew why we were selling them. I was not very good at selling, maybe because my closest neighbor was a mile or so away!
    In high school we sold Christmas candy to raise money for our senior trip to Washington and New York. Since there were only 26 in my class (and not everyone went) we all went in one bus. Another big trip was the annual trip to the state fair in Columbia for the FFA (Future Farmers of America) and for the FHA (Future Homemakers of America). The FFA is still in existence but I do not now about the FHA .

    • Reply
      September 14, 2021 at 8:58 pm

      I don’t know if the FHA is still in existence or not, but I was a member.

    • Reply
      September 14, 2021 at 9:04 pm

      I just looked it up. The FHA became the FCCLA(Family, Career, & Community Leaders of America). It’s for male and female students in grades 6-12 taking family and consumer science education courses. They don’t call it home economics any more.

  • Reply
    Kat Swanson
    September 14, 2021 at 10:22 am

    Kids selling stuff …yes that I remember. I sold seeds in pretty packages…a dime a pack…I remember my mom would buy 2 or 3 , probably zinnias or marigolds. She would plant them as a starter row, near the house in her kitchen garden . She loved the colored picture on the pack. She would get me to find a short strong stick, break it off sharp on both ends, and poke it up through the middle of the seed pack , then stick it in the ground to mark the row and look pretty. The package eventually just disappeared but if I ever plant seeds in pretty packs, I do the same thing.
    My kids sold candy bars and later, as boy scouts, my sons sold from multi product kits where they showed items then took orders to help pay for camp.
    We never minded going door to door in our family….I myself sold Avon in the 70s …did that for a year so I could buy a portable dishwasher…now long gone except for its walnut colored butcher block top that I repurposed as a kitchen island. I sold Tupperware too, until I was expecting my second child and got nauseous at the smells of the party foods the hostess served. I still have most of my sales kit items, now considered vintage!!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    September 14, 2021 at 10:14 am

    Tipper–A school fundraiser when I was in the first grade got me in real trouble. I have no idea what the “cause” was, but most classmates pledged a nickel or in a few cases a dime. Being afflicted with a chronic case of “big britches,” I pledged $5. When I got home and told Mom and Dad, the roof caved in. That amount of money represented a good portion of their monthly mortgage payment and was far more than the family had to spare. Daddy lived up to my pledge but made it abundantly clear there would be no repeat offenses on that front.

    He did derive one benefit from my illusions of grandeur. For the ensuing six-plus decades, until his death at the age of 101, he drew interest on my pledge in the form of telling the story at every opportunity when I was present. I reckon in the end he got far more than $5 worth on the pledge in the form of reminding me of my misstep.

    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    September 14, 2021 at 8:53 am

    I’m glad the schools started having fund raisers to allow all children to go on the field trips offered. There was a time when each child had to pay his/her own way and many were left behind. My kid’s daddy never wanted them to ask neighbors to buy the items they were selling, so I ended up with plenty ice scrapers, whisk brooms, and address books I would buy from two little girls who never won the top seller prize.
    Mom had a similar picture of the Guardian Angel in a bedroom as long as I can remember. I wish I had it to hang in my bedroom.

  • Reply
    Larry Paul Eddings
    September 14, 2021 at 8:52 am

    When I was in elementary school we sold packets of vegetable and flower seeds in the spring and Krispy Creme doughnuts later in the year. I’m 68 now, so that was quite a few years ago.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2021 at 8:51 am

    That picture hung on many walls is my area of Appalachia. I think perhaps even on my Mother’s wall along with a picture of The Last Supper as a young child. They must have fallen by the wayside when we moved, because I don’t recall seeing them after I was around 10 years old. I used to study the children.
    Our old brains are like a file cabinet, because as you reach in to pull out an old file you will see many files nearby that are somehow connected. I feel like I have some cobwebs in there too, but day after day you bring those sweet gentle reminders of much I thought was long forgotten. The simple takes on so much more importance when somebody brings it to our attention. My Dad had that gift, as I think back to when he noticed a little duck swimming in a mudhole alongside a busy street on which we were driving. There is an old saying about “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” I now think they got plumb off base with that one. I much prefer to concentrate on the trees rather than try to look at the big picture which is “the forest.”

  • Reply
    Margie G
    September 14, 2021 at 8:47 am

    Our 6 grade trip was to Gettysburg for 3 days. It is still a wonderful memory. We were never allowed to sale or peddle wares for school as it was strictly frowned upon by my grandparents. The last trip I chaperoned was to Biltmore Estate about 6 years ago for BHS history class. Let me tell you times have changed and NOT for the better. There was stuff happening on that chartered bus best left to married folks imaginations. Never again will I self inflict torture. The hoodlums turned over the live flowers at Chick Filet in Johnson City and left a mess. I found the whole experience exhausting and let me tell you the wine I purchased at Biltmore I deserved for my lady friends and I!!!! Keep in mind I don’t get stoned. Lol

  • Reply
    September 14, 2021 at 8:31 am

    I don’t remember seeing those pictures, but I do remember selling Krispy Kreme donuts for just about any fundraiser that came along. The PTA in my elementary school organized a sale in the late 1960’s that raised enough to buy air conditioners for every room. Growing up in Chattanooga, I have many memories of Lake Winnepesauka — and the Cannon Ball rollercoaster. Also those awful carp that ate all the junk kids threw to them and grew to enormous size. To this day I can’t stand looking at large koi in ornamental ponds. Tipper you bring up so many memories!

  • Reply
    Sandra Henderson
    September 14, 2021 at 8:05 am

    I grew up with a picture above my bed of the big, guardian angel over the little boy and girl crossing the bridge. I alway remmeber it….

  • Reply
    Pastor Lon
    September 14, 2021 at 7:42 am

    Amen my friend. This happens to me a lot, if I see something hanging on a wall or pull something out of a drawer at our house now like an old photo or something of my childhood, yes it takes me back and sometimes when it does I’ll be honest I wish I could stay back there especially now in these times we are living in. GOD BLESS YOU TIPPER!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    September 14, 2021 at 7:29 am

    My Grandmother had one of those pictures in her house, I was always taken with it. I don’t know if it cane from a fund raiser in the school. I used to sit and ponder it and wonder about what it represented.
    Yes, it calls past memories for me of being at my Grandmothers in the summer. There were lots of interesting things in her house.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    September 14, 2021 at 7:28 am

    I dont remember the fundraisers, but where we live the big 8th grade trip is to Washington, D C. When my youngest child went, my husband and I signed up as volunteers and went with the group. It was a fun trip and the kids always looked forward to it. When I was in school, 6th grade patrols went to Washington DC in May of each year. It’s a trip I will never forget.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2021 at 7:08 am

    Sorry about that mess up I hit the wrong key.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2021 at 7:06 am

    I had an aunt that lived in Chattanooga take us to Lake Winnepesaukah once when visiting her. I don’t remember selling anything when we were in grammar school which was first through seventh grade.. The high school students sold candy that was like Almond Joys or Mounds for $1 a box or they would open a box and sell individual pieces for a nickel.
    Now I think the students are asked to start selling something usually fruit or wrapping paper now even in kindergarten. I guess it would now be unlawful to sale anything considered religious. Now that I think about it I do not remember anyone selling Christmas wrapping paper lately.

    us and my children to

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