‘Where’s Mr. Berutti?’

The West Iron County class of 2018 is having some fun with principal Mike Berutti (left), sponsoring a “Where, Oh, Where Is Mr. Berutti?” fundraiser. Class president Aly Pangrazzi (pictured above) said at a recent West Iron County School Board meeting that the class wanted to try some new and innovative ways to raise money. See page 3 for an additional explanation of the fundraiser. (submitted photo)

By Jerry DeRoche
IRON RIVER—As the world changes, seemingly daily, some old ways of doing things are not as effective as they used to be.  
    Take for instance, the way a high school senior class raises money to pay for various activities during its final year. In days passed, a staple of fundraising activities was magazine sales. But with print magazine sales dropping in a world awash in digital technology, selling magazines is not the most productive way to raise funds.
    The West Iron County High School class of 2018 knows this and so is trying to find new ways to raise money to pay for activities like its class trip. Class president Aly Pangrazzi spoke to the West Iron County School Board at its regular monthly meeting Sept. 26, asking for the board’s approval of the class’ fundraising ideas.
    “We were trying to think about innovative ways to do fundraisers instead of just selling magazines, because in the past, people didn’t buy a lot of those, and it’s hard to scramble up new ways,” Pangrazzi said. “So we’re trying to get things started early with new, fresh ideas.”
    Pangrazzi then presented some ideas that her class has come up with. The first was what Pangrazzi called “a yard ornament sale.”
    “We are going to make a big scarecrow and have Mr. Berutti’s face on it,” Pangrazzi said, referring to middle and high school principal Mike Berutti. “Then we put it in somebody’s yard that we know of, and we’d come move it out of the yard for $10. Or for $15, you can put it in the yard of your choosing.”
    Pangrazzi said an explanation of the fundraiser, plus instructions and a phone number to have it removed, would be included on a piece of paper on the back of the scarecrow. Class advisor Chris Langenberg said that the students would generally know beforehand that the yard ornament would be placed at the home of somebody who would be receptive to participating.
    Pangrazzi also explained there would be a time limit, so the ornament wouldn’t just sit at one location and never move. She added that the class is considering involving local businesses, with a Fathead (brand wall decal) with Berutti’s face serving as the ornament.
    “Something to do with the Wykons and get businesses’ permission. Put it in their window and do the same thing.”
    Pangrazzi added that a group at Iron Mountain High School held a similar fundraiser this summer. “It was very successful, and they had a lot of fun with it.”
    Another idea is to sell T-shirts and hooded sweatshirts with Wykon-related designs to celebrate the 50th graduating Wykon class this year (see separate story). Buyers would have the choice of two different designs.
    “I think that would be a huge seller,” board member Faye Atanasoff said. “I mean, if you give people a choice of
 two, I think you’d get enough of each to make it worthwhile.”
    “The big thing is, we really wanted to be out of the box with it, because every year it seemed like people do the same fundraisers, and we wanted to jazz it up and give people a new look on supporting the senior class,” Pangrazzi said.
    The board voted 6-0 to approve the list of fundraising ideas presented. Board President Roy Polich was not in attendance.

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