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Feb. 2, 2012

PTSA starts Amazon store

by Zoe Waldrop,
This past holiday season, the Blair Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) launched a new way to raise money for Blair, using the popular online merchant Amazon.com.

Blazers can participate in the new PTSA store in several ways, either directly or indirectly. The PTSAís new partnership with Amazon allows for Blair to profit from community membersí purchases of items on the online "wish list"; which contains over 70 books that the Media Center specialists would like to add to the libraryís collection.

As another service for the Blair Community, the PTSA has created a list of test prep books and study cards for the SATs and APs, for students trying to find the best study books. The site also links to an MCPS recommended list of more than 30 "teen reads."

In addition, there is a collection of books and art created by Blair alumni, staff and parents on the site so that the Blair Community can find and support fellow Blazers. Items in this collection greatly vary, consisting of famous authors, including Nora Roberts and Carl Bernstein, and celebrities such as Ben Stein and Goldie Hawn. Though the collection displays all of the infamous alums, the collection also includes music by Alicia Deeny, Blairís current Assistant Principal.

Parents and relatives can use Blairís wish list to donate to the school from afar. Including as a self-benefitting measure to earn Amazon benefits for reaching a certain cost. Sheri Verdonk, president of the PTSA said, "Now if someone needs to spend just a bit more to earn the free shipping [for their personal purchases] they can send a book to the Media Center and help out the school."

If a purchase is made through the Blair store, the site will earn a referral fee of 4 to 6 percent for every purchase that will go to the PTSA, part of the effort of "painless fundraising," as described by Blairís PTSA website.

Sheri Verdonk is pleased with the new partnership. "It will be an easy way to encourage the Blair community, if you use Amazon, why not help out the school while you do it?" she said.

Verdonk and the PTSA designed their website to be accessible and convenient way to help the Blair Community and believe that it will do just that. Blair Principal Renay Johnson is also pleased with the new site and sees no problems with it. "Since many people shop on Amazon, including me, I think it a great way to fundraise for the school," she said.

For Blazers interested in helping out, go to http://astore.amazon.com/mbhsptsa-20 or find the site through the PTSA webpage.



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