It all started with an idea and a cupcake.
Tahlia Kuhn, Katie Zimmerman and Giana Garman like to read, bake and run. When they heard their school, Hinkletown Mennonite, was working to replace the gym floor, they wanted to help make it happen.
Inspired by “The Cupcake Club” book series, the three students started their own club to sell baked goods to contribute to the Score The Floor 2019 campaign.
“We had the idea for a baking club, to make treats for the school,” Tahlia said in a news release.
“But it’s a little different,” Giana explained, “because we aren’t just doing it for ourselves, but to help our school. And we really need the gym floor.”
They began talking with classmates and, within a day, the fourth-grade class was on board and the sweet-treat idea had expanded beyond cupcakes.
On February Fridays, the fourth-grade entrepreneurs offered a spread that included cupcakes, macaroons, Rice Krispie treats and cookies.
Fourth-grade teacher Anette Raiser saw the benefits.
“The whole process has tied into so many things,’’ she said. “They are definitely working together for a common goal. Each student is pitching in with their gifts.’’
She continued, “They took care of making posters, and they do the set-up, selling, taking money, cleaning up and counting money with very little guidance from me.
“I am most impressed with the follow-through of the students and how they have taken charge of the whole process.”
The overall goal is to raise $105,000 by March 5 so the floor in the 34-year-old gym can be replaced in the summer.
In addition to the cupcake initiative, the school community has pitched in to help raise money. Hinkletown parents Mary and Nevin Bowman, for example, are making and selling egg rolls.
Inspired by the commitment of the fourth-grade entrepreneurs, a donor matched the bake sale proceeds.
With that donation and some direct contributions, the bake sale total of $470.75 grew to $1,305.72. So far, the school has raised a total of $24,738 for the project.
“This floor replacement is an essential safety upgrade so we can continue our physical education classes and interscholastic sports,” school administrator Dawn Landes said.
“But our gymnasium is also the center of community life. It is where our entire school family gathers for back-to-school nights and our students hold chapels and music and drama programs. It is where parents see their children graduate and alumni gather.
“How fitting that our Score the Floor Challenge invites the whole community to help us make the next 34 years of gym activity possible.”