Glass in the Class
Childrens fundraising projects for Old Town Academy
by Steve Shupper
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The concept that it takes a village to raise children is one I subscribe to.
This idea is epitomized at the school my children attend, the Old Town
Academy in Old Town – San Diego. This school is about to complete only its
second year and has one class per grade, K – 8. It is a school where every
teacher knows every student and families of the students get to know each
other very well. From this pool of families there are huge numbers of
dedicated, talented people who donate their time to make our children’s
education the absolute best it can be. Some teach music, others sailing, a
few do physical education, many assist in classrooms with reading, math,
science, robotics, the list goes on. My contribution happens to be in the
arts and specifically glass art.
While the school is a brand new charter school and receives funding from the
state, that money is not enough to operate the school. We are required to
raise over $100,000.00 per year to keep the doors open and we don’t ask
parents for any required contribution. Instead, we hold two major
fundraisers during the year. The latter is our annual Wine and Dine Gala.
This event features some of the most delicious wine from California
vintners, a few amazing beers from San Diego brewers, food from the Old Town
and Mission Hills area and plethora of amazing items that are auctioned off
throughout the night. This year’s event grossed over $135,000.00 of which
approximately $20,000.00 was for expenses. The rest is donated to the
school to keep the doors open and compensate our underpaid but amazing
As a part of the fundraising, I and another parent lead the classes in
producing art that is auctioned during the gala. This is not any art, we
were determined to produce some better than average art and attempt to raise
a significant amount of money while spending the least amount possible. We
were successful. We spent only $700 and raised over $10,500.00! A majority
of this money came from projects which incorporated glass. Pictures of the
projects are attached.
As you know however, glass isn’t cheap and nor are the tools used to work
with it. We were EXTREMELY fortunate to receive donations from some very
generous companies: Alpine Stained Glass, Blue Dolphin Stained Glass, CBS
(Coatings by Sandberg), Glass Accessories Int’l (TOYO), Hakko, Hoevel
Manufacturing, Inland Craft, Morton Glass Works, Oceanside Glasstile,
Spectrum Glass, Streuter Technologies (No Days), and Wedi Corp.
Local professional Leslie Perlis also served as an advisor and as she did
last year, offered her kiln to fire all the pieces for this years’
kindergarten project. It came out great.
While the companies were generous, the kids were great, and the numerous
parents who assisted were awesome, it was the response to my plea for
assistance from the AGASC by Cathy Coverly that really touched me. I didn’t
know Cathy prior to this project but based solely on my request, she donated
her expertise for three weeks in a row, to ensure our projects would be
completed on time and she was AWESOME. She taught me a few tricks, was
great with the kids and the parents were ever grateful. She exemplified
what it means to be a part of the village that is working to successfully
raise our children to be contributors to society. For this I thank Cathy
and the AGASC.
For more information about these projects or the Old Town Academy or the OTA
Wine and Dine, contact Steve Shupper at firstname.lastname@example.org or call
him at (858)490-1008.
Steve is the director of marketing for Glass Accessories Int’l (TOYO) and
lives in San Diego (Clairemont). He is a past president of the national Art