If, like me, you went to primary school in the 1980s there will be certain things you remember – smelly rubbers, polony (devon) and sauce sandwiches, chicko rolls and if you did really well in class – a scratch’n’sniff sticker from the teacher.
Fundraising was also a little different back then.
Cake stalls (and the weekly ‘tuck shop’)
were a staple at my school in the northern suburbs of Perth. But unlike the glamorous and gluten-free cake stalls you would find today, the 80s cake stall had plain vanilla patty cakes, iced with a few hundreds and thousands, chocolate crackles, honey joys, and those rock-hard toffees – usually in toxic (and probably now illegal) colours – that took all of lunch time to finish, broke the occasional tooth, and left you with a blue mouth for the rest of the day. Click here if you would like a modern day (and non-toxic) version for your next cake stall, provided by Marnie from 3PicklesEat (who also provided the above image).
were another big fundraiser, and ridiculously popular with the kids. On delivery day we would line up at the canteen to collect our red cardboard boxes, sneaking a peek under the lid at the rows of chocolate (or if you were lucky, pink) lamingtons inside.
I searched high and low on the internet for national companies that still do lamington fundraisers, but they seem to have gone the same way as leg warmers and hypercolour t-shirts (sorry, that was the 90s.) However, if you wanted to do the retro fundraiser, see below for some local bakeries and companies who might be able to provide you with fresh lammos for a fundraising drive.
Jump Rope for Heart
I have fond memories of raising money for the Heart Foundation doing Jump Rope for Heart on the quadrangle. Skipping in the full sun with our matching white skipping ropes with red handles, we would try (and fail) to imitate the moves of the professional Skippers who would visit the school to drum up support and get us motivated. With their tight red shorts and mustard yellow t-shirts, they were perhaps a symbol of the 80s more vivid than any other. Click here for a news article on the 30th anniversary of Jump Rope for Heart (including great pictures of the hideous yellow shirts).
Unlike lamingtons though, Jump Rope lives on, although the t-shirts have been modernised and the sponsorship has gone online. Click here to read my article about doing a modern day Jump Rope for Heart at your school.
Another fundraiser which has stood the test of time is the Scholastic Book Club. Once a term the flimsy ‘Arrow’ catalogues would be sent home with students, who would breathe in their unique fumes and dream about all the books we weren’t allowed to have.
Series such as ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’, ‘Pick A Path’, ‘Encyclopedia Brown’ and ‘The Babysitters Club’ regularly made the front page and we were allowed to have a few minutes in class to carefully turn the pages before being told to put them in our bags to give to mum and dad (with a hopeful smile on our faces).
Those are my memories of fundraising in the 1980s – do you have any more to share?
(wholesale) Bob and Pete’s http://www.yum.com.au/