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Local

Batavia High School students raise thousands for charity

Project will leave lasting Bulldog paw print

Batavia High School juniors Michael Jansey (from left), Julian Davis, Connor Davis, Jake Paoletti and Joe Ruzicka present a check to Bulldogs Unleashed representative Joanne Spitz. The school's “Competing for a Cause” T-shirt sale fundraiser this year raised $8,000 for charities including CHIP IN Batavia.
Batavia High School juniors Michael Jansey (from left), Julian Davis, Connor Davis, Jake Paoletti and Joe Ruzicka present a check to Bulldogs Unleashed representative Joanne Spitz. The school's “Competing for a Cause” T-shirt sale fundraiser this year raised $8,000 for charities including CHIP IN Batavia.

BATAVIA – Participants in the INCubator Entrepreneurship course at Batavia High School put their creative spin on a fall fundraiser capitalizing on the rivalry between Batavia and Geneva high school football fans at the 99th crosstown classic game.

Each high school sold Batavia vs. Geneva “Competing for a Cause” T-shirts to benefit Ava Warriors, CHIP IN Batavia and Bulldogs Unleashed, according to a news release. A team of Batavia juniors in the entrepreneurship course were challenged with heading up Batavia’s marketing and sales efforts.

Michael Jansey, Connor Davis, Julian Davis, Joe Ruzicka and Jake Paoletti devised a marketing campaign that included posters, social media, a news release, BATV segment, morning announcements and word-of-mouth hype. The team also coordinated sales at Rotolo Middle School, Batavia High School and at two high school football games.

The hard work paid off, and net sales came in at $8,000. In the end, the budding entrepreneurs presented a check for $5,000 to Bulldogs Unleashed, which benefits the Batavia Foundation for Educational Excellence, Batavia Public Library Foundation and Batavia Parks Foundation, and a check for $3,000 to CHIP IN Batavia, a local service organization that helps Batavia School District 101 students and their families in need.

The team members said they are grateful to carry on the tradition of the BHS Bulldog football program – putting community first.

Now in its fourth year, the “Competing for a Cause” fundraiser has proved to be an effective way to give back to the community. This year’s INCubator team brought in the most fundraising dollars of any previous “Competing for a Cause” T-shirt sales competition.

The team members are excited to work with a local artist to design a 44-inch fiberglass bulldog, which they earned through the $5,000 Bulldogs Unleashed donation. After the bulldog is painted and on display for Bulldogs Unleashed in the summer, it will become a permanent fixture at the entrance to Bulldog Stadium.

“Not only did this team of students get a real-world lesson in sales and marketing, but they also learned how hard work can pay off to help others,” said Batavia football coach Dennis Piron, who is the INCubator Entrepreneurship course instructor. “That’s an important life lesson.”

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