3rd annual Teachers’ Supplies Party expected to be biggest yet

By Katie Harris
The Surveyor

For the third year in a row, local businesses and community members will have the opportunity to shower Berthoud teachers with love, in the form of much-needed classroom supplies.

Berthoud Area Chamber of Commerce director, Deanne Mulvihill, said she came across the idea for the event during a chamber executive meeting she attended three years ago.

“One of the chamber executives from Half Moon Bay Coastside in Southern California presented the idea for the supplies party,” she said. “It sounded like a wonderful idea and I asked her to share it with me.”

Each February since that time, the Berthoud chamber has sent an email out to the Thompson School District, to be forwarded to all Berthoud teachers.

“We invite them to attend and shop for free supplies,” said Deanne. “We also ask them to send us their wish list of needed items ahead of time, and we post those on our website.”

Now through Feb. 14, chamber members, as well as community members, are invited to shop from the list of items at business.berthoudcolorado.com/events/details/business-after-hours-teachers-supplies-party-3872 and drop the supplies at the Berthoud chamber office, located at 428 Mountain Ave.

The supplies will be packaged and taken to the community center at 248 Welch Ave. prior to this month’s meeting of Business After Hours, which will be hosted by Berthoud Brick Oven Pizza on Feb. 15. That evening, from 5:30-7 p.m., all Berthoud teachers will be invited to “shop” for free school supplies.

In addition, teachers who RSVP in advance will be entered for one of several $100 cash drawings to aid in the purchase of their own supplies.

According to Mulvihill, last year eight $100 drawings were awarded. She said her hope this year is the word spreads beyond chamber members to community members who might wish to contribute as well.

“No one has to donate the full $100,” she said. “We’ll combine donations to make $100 increments.”

With more than a week to go, Mulvihill said 35 teachers had already signed up for the event.

“It’s catching on,” she said. “The first year nobody could believe that this was real, or that so many in their community wanted to support them. They’d never heard of anything like it before.”

Mulvihill said as teachers have participated in past years, and gone back to show their colleagues their loot, attendance has steadily risen.

“Last year we had teachers that cried,” she said. “They were so happy to get the supplies. By this time of year they’re buying supplies out of their own pockets.”

Ivy Stockwell fifth-grade teacher Dean Book attended past years, and said he will definitely be in attendance again on the 15th.

“I think that teachers are very appreciative of this event,” he said. “This is the time of year when the consumable supplies teachers purchased at the beginning of the year are running out.”

Book said the ability for teachers to request specific items which they have an immediate need for is one of his favorite parts of the program.

“In past years, I’ve been drawn for the $100 bill,” he said. “I’ve also had the opportunity to select many donated items that are at the event, including markers, cleaning supplies, pens and pencils.”

“Berthoud is such a great town,” said Book. “This community has always put children first, and our schools are a direct reflection of that engagement.”

Book said a nice aspect of this event is it creates an avenue for community members who might not have children in school to impact or contribute to the children in the community.

“We have highly-valued schools here in Berthoud,” said Mulvihill. “We want to thank our teachers for the great work they do.”