|Emily Newfield, who owns the Loch Lomond Roadhouse in Loch Lomond, Calif., raised funds to give Cobb Mountain Elementary School students supplies to start off the 2013-14 school year. Courtesy photo.|
LOCH LOMOND, Calif. – Emily Newfield, the owner of the Loch Lomond Roadhouse, demures from credit for giving returning Cobb Mountain Elementary School students $4,400 worth of school supplies.
“I think the people who donated deserve all the credit,” said Newfield, who raised the funds this summer. “I don't deserve any credit for this because I couldn't have done it without them.”
Her comment circumvents the fact that the funds couldn't be raised without her.
Indeed, Newfield staged a do-it-yourself one-woman fundraising project worthy of a case study.
It included what she called “guest checks,” printed with the word “Apple” along with a picture of an apple (an apple for the teacher … get it?) a space for the contributor's name and amount pledged.
The guest checks attracted interest in the roadhouse bar, and, in turn, donations.
She also put together a late-July spaghetti feed fundraiser.
Then she took it a step further by personally purchasing all of the school supplies for Cobb Mountain Elementary with the raised funds, some items by searching online, others by shopping at a number of stores, i.e. Staple's, Walmart and Kmart.
“We filled up four shopping carts and raised enough money to buy 100 backpacks,” she said proudly.
Her purchases were targeted to the specific needs for each grade, kindergarten through seventh, at Cobb Elementary.
Newfield worked from a list of recommended supplies she obtained from school principal Shelly Todd.
“But I didn't talk to the school until I was totally done,” said Newfield.
The school expressed its appreciation on its Web site, thanking Newfield for a fundraiser “that supplied all our students with all the necessary supplies needed (and then some) to begin the year!”
The idea of raising funds for Cobb Mountain Elementary students, she added, originated when a bartender at the roadhouse drew her attention to a growing list of needs at the school.
It was a perfect fit for her because her youngest son was a sixth-grade student in the first year of the school's operation in the mid 1980s.
Plus she was looking for a worthy beneficiary after a barbecue benefiting leukemia she had held for four years had to be discontinued when her partner in that event left the area.
“I just thought that little school was so neat,” said Newfield. “They have really good teachers, a garden and started a music program.”
Believe or not, Newfield's donation to a school in the Middletown Unified School District was a complicated process.
“I ran into a lot of roadblocks,” she said.
One MUSD administrator, she added, was “rude” to her.
“I started to get mad and I said 'I'm going to do this,'” Newfield recalled.
One more reason she wanted to was the well-known fact that nearly every adult associated with Cobb Mountain Elementary has ponied up personal funds in support of the school, a model for rural schools.
“Even teachers have been taking money out of their wallets for years,” Newfield asserted. “I just wanted to give them a little rest from their wallet this year.”
Email John Lindblom at [email protected] .