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card program with us,” said WayneFunk, principal of Westmount. “Neil’sgoing above and beyond for the amountof work that he’s doing with us and it’s just a phenomenal fundraiser for us, re-ally easy and great partnership for usand Sobeys and it’s lucrative for us, it works well.”Families can sign up for a predeter-mined amount of groceries a month,for example $400 a month and they canpick up the gift card at the store at thestart of the month. The families pay theschool directly for it, and Sobeys givesthe school a 10 per cent discount. If afamily were to buy a gift card for $500 amonth for 12 months, they would raise$600 just by buying groceries, with nonegative cost to them.“It’s a program we will offer to any non prot group, so it’s not somethingthat’s just exclusive to Westmount. They are the only group in town that has ever participated in it, and I guess I got in- volved mostly because that’s where my children go,” said Neil Kennedy, owner of Strathmore Sobeys.By the time all of his children aredone school he will have had one at Westmount for 19 years, which he saidis why he thinks he pushed a little hard-er with them.“We tell parents, if you spend $800 amonth on groceries, well don’t buy an$800 card, buy a $400 card so you havesome exibility. If you know you’re go-ing spend at least that minimum $400 to$500 it’s an easy way to fund your chil-dren’s school, or group,” said Kennedy. The cards don’t expire and can beused at any Sobeys in Western Canada. At Westmount it is school council orien-tated, and Funk said everything is run-ning smoothly with it now. Last year theschool managed to raise over $11,000using the program, and eliminating theneed for other fundraising initiatives.“For the most part it’s a really slicksystem now, it works really nicely. Peo-ple are buying their groceries locally and helping to support the school at thesame time. It’s a win-win no brainer,”said Funk.“If we can fundraise through thisSobeys plan $13,000, then the schoolcouncil feels they have no other needto fundraise.”Most people sign up for nine months, which is the school year, or can do a12-month commitment as well. Funkhimself uses the card and said every month a portion of the money he spendson groceries comes back to the school.“They are open to people who aren’t Westmount parents as well. If there aregrandparents or anybody who buystheir groceries at Sobeys and wants tochip in they can stop in before the 18,”said Funk.
The nal day to get an order in for the cards and to help the school isSept. 18, though anything that comesin the morning of the 19, will still beaccepted.