Dallas Jackson, the former principal at Martinez Middle School in Lutz, recently got his just desserts when two teachers poured 12 gallons of slime onto the administrator — soaking him with the sticky green Jell-O substance.
Chorus teacher Chad DeLoach and civics teacher Michael Carballo had the honors of sliming Jackson because their homerooms sold the most discount cards in a school fundraiser to generate money for covered walkways.
The school’s Parent Teacher Student Association took the lead on the moneymaking quest by devising a card with 40 discount stickers that can be redeemed at local businesses. The goal was to raise $22,500 this year, with $10,000 going toward the covered walkway project.
Jackson, who was recently promoted to a district position outside the school, promised he would allow himself to be slimed and would give students an upside-down uniform day if they exceeded the $22,500 fundraising goal. In the upside-down uniform day, teachers and staff wore school uniforms, while kids dressed in regular attire.
Apparently, the idea of seeing the principal slimed proved motivational. The PTSA raised nearly $30,000 through the discount card sales.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that the cards, which sold for $20, had a wide variety of discounts on local goods and services. There are discounts on frozen yogurt, cupcakes, pizza, hot dogs, restaurant meals, Sunday brunch, pet grooming, tutoring, car washes, golf outings, personal training and other deals.
This year’s discount card was an expanded version of a fundraiser the school had last year, which they called “Pizza Palooza.” That promotion was so successful the pizza places said they couldn’t afford to offer such deep discounts again, said PTSA president Monique Dailey.
So, the PTSA came up with a new plan. Fellow PTSA member Charmane DelBrocco suggested they expand on the theme.
In the words of Dailey: “They decided to take it and 2.0 it.”
“It definitely took hard work. There was a lot of cold calling,” said Dailey, crediting DelBrocco and Terri Ansel, another PTSA member, for hitting the pavement and using persistence to secure 40 discount deals.
By putting together their own discount card, the PTSA is able to direct the money to school projects and activities instead of paying a professional fundraising company, Dailey noted. Some of those companies want at least 60 percent of the proceeds.
Dailey said she’s not surprised by the generosity of area businesses, but she is gratified.
“It’s reassuring because we stepped out on faith that they would be there, that we would be able to fill 40 coupons,” she said.
To help entice students to sell the discount cards, the PTSA offered a $250 prize to the top seller. Seventh-grader Jordyn Schramm, who sold 18 discount cards, took home that reward.
Schramm said she walked around her Lutz neighborhood, pitching the discount cards to friends and neighbors.
“All I did was put a smile on my face and ask for their help,” she said.
It helped that the discount card had lots of good deals at nearby businesses, she said. “It’s for all of the places around our local neighborhood.”
Raising money to help the school provide more covered walkways is a good cause, Dailey said.
It’s a definite need, Schramm agreed, noting on rainy days all of the school’s 1,000-plus students use the same hallway.
“It’s almost like human bumper-to-bumper traffic,” she said.
By next year, the PTSA ladies said, they hope more kids will be able to walk under covered walkways across campus.
And, in the end, the former principal took a soaking — so students at the middle school won’t have to, on those rainy days.