PTO Thrift Shop distributes $60K to AAPS in May payout

PTO Thrift Shop representatives smile May 30 after getting their checks. The reps will deliver the checks to their school PTOs.
PTO Thrift Shop representatives smile May 30 after getting their checks. The reps will deliver the checks to their school PTOs.

By Tara Cavanaugh

Three times a year, the PTO Thrift Shop distributes checks that go directly to the Ann Arbor Public Schools PTOs.

The  payout on May 30 was one of the largest yet, totaling $60,820.

PTOs earn money from the shop through promotional advertising –– such as printing the shop’s logo in a school newsletter –– and by participating in weekly “Show Your Support” competitions, in which three or four groups compete for shop patrons’ votes.

Ann Farnham, the shop’s newly minted executive director, was thrilled with the May payout, which was even larger than the January payout of $50,220.

“It couldn’t be more important at a time like this,” Farnham said, referencing the budget cuts the district is facing for the next fiscal year. “We’re hoping this supplies some help to the PTOs and takes some pressure off the district at the same time.”

The shop has also already distributed $78,000 to the AAPS Transportation Fund to help with busing for field trips and enrichment activities.

Farnham knows that the shop’s role in supporting AAPS is becoming increasingly important as the district struggles with the budget.

“It puts extra pressure on us. We feel it. But on the other side of that, the community also knows there are these enormous fiscal challenges, and so people are responding. Look at the donations back here!” She pointed to an overflowing pile of clothes and goods, nearly reaching the warehouse ceiling, that was waiting to be sorted and placed in the shop.

The May payout follows a successful Memorial Day sale, in which the shop logged over $8,000 in sales.

“May has been an outstanding month,” said Susan Galardi, who is the board treasurer for the shop. “We’re making money in different ways –– from deliveries, cash donations, and recycling unusable textiles we can’t sell with the city.

“I’ve been here for 15 years,” Galardi continued. “This is the Renaissance. We’re on the right road, we have a great staff, we’re totally on board with people in the community. I have enjoyed seeing the shop evolve. And I have to give a special thanks to Ann. Ever since Ann has been on, it has exploded.”

Thrift shop representatives, who represent schools and help them earn money, are also pleased with the shop’s success.

“We’re so grateful that they’re so generous,” said Amy Force, who represents Haisley Elementary. “We get a lot of return for our investment.”

Representatives say the shop makes it easy for them to help their schools. “I just sent some emails, did some copies, and there’s like $2,000 for the school! It’s so easy,” said Sarah Burns, who represents Community.

And, she added: “It looks like we’re going to need the money now more than ever.”

A list of how much money the school PTOs earned in the payout:

  • AAPS Art and Music: $10,000
  • Ann Arbor Preschool and Family Center: $1,000
  • Abbot Elementary: $610
  • Allen Elementary: $1,170
  • Angell Elementary: $520
  • Bach Elementary: $1,490
  • Bryant-Pattengill Elementary: $2,880
  • Burns Park: $1,250
  • Carpenter Elementary: $810
  • Dicken Elementary: $1,005
  • Eberwhite Elementary: $750
  • Haisley Elementary: $1,115
  • King Elementary: $750
  • Lakewood Elementary: $240
  • Lawton Elementary: $200
  • Logan Elementary: $1,790
  • Mitchell Elementary: $2,350
  • Northside Elementary: $1,690
  • Pittsfield Elementary: $2,510
  • Thurston Elementary: $1,020
  • Wines Elementary: $600
  • A2 Open: $3,080
  • Clague Middle School: $1,200
  • Forsythe Middle School: $1,600
  • Scarlett Middle School: $2,150
  • Slauson Middle School: $2,820
  • Tappan Middle School: $650
  • Community High School: $1,360
  • Huron High School: $2,960
  • Pioneer High School: $5,110
  • Skyline High School: $4,730
  • A2 Tech High School: $430
  • Roberto Clemente High School: $980

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