This round’s on Rashkis

Carwashes, sorting clothes at the PTA Thrift Shop, linking your VIC card at Harris Teeter – these are the school fundraising methods of the plebeian. Rashkis Elementary School teachers have a much more innovative way of raising money: selling alcoholic drinks at a party where students who are minors work as servers.

Penny Rich told that the retirement party she catered for former Rashkis principal Deshera Mack was actually a charity fundraiser to benefit students who could not afford to go on field trips. Rashkis teachers organized the event, Rich said, and reimbursed her for the food and liquor, and the teachers sold drink tickets to raise money for the field trip scholarship fund. The school received a $25 donation from Rich on Aug. 26.

Rich said she did not make a profit from the event. But the party served as advertisement for her catering business, and any expenses she was not reimbursed for would be a tax write-off for her, as would the money donated to the school, though the negligible amount raised won’t make much difference.

Rich also said students were servers at the party. While it’s illegal to have children under 18 serving drinks if you pay them, the law does not address the legality if they work for free. So no ALE agents will be busting down Rich’s door.

However, school board member Mike Kelley was not amused by the unorthodox fundraiser. “I raised my brow after reading that alcohol was served at a function that included students. Yikes,” Kelley said after reading the Chapelboro report. “I do not support serving alcohol at functions were children are in attendance, and discourage adult-only school-related events that serve alcohol.”

And that’s why I wrote the email to Town Council members that prompted the ordinance to be pulled from the consent agenda for discussion. I questioned why the 523 building should be exempt from the alcohol ban immediately when the only publicly discussed use for the building at that time was as an art gallery for UNC students.

Underage and excessive drinking is a particular problem in university towns. More than a dozen students didn’t even make it through their first weekend at UNC without being arrested for alcohol-related offenses. And there is a direct connection between students’ drinking behavior and the message they get from observing their parents’ attitudes toward drinking. Some Chapel Hill parents would never spank a child because of what it might teach the child about hitting. Yet what does it teach children when these same parents serve alcohol to their teenagers, arguing that the teens will drink anyway; they might as well drink at home.

Apparently, Penny Rich and the Rashkis teachers would drink to that.
– Nancy Oates

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  1. John Kramer

     /  August 31, 2011

    This just shows more very bad judgement on her part. I mean, really, having under age kids serve booze? Sheesh. And CHCCS is equally wrong to allow this.

    Of course I assume you will get demonized for this posting, too Nancy. The Liberal Progressive apologists will be criticizing your blog site and attacking you, questioning your facts etc.

    This stunt has got to be damaging to her reelection. The only thing worse would be is if it wasn’t.

  2. DOM

     /  August 31, 2011

    If school kids were present, and alcohol was served, that’s just plain wrong.

  3. Road Warrior

     /  August 31, 2011

    Hey, but no one was allowed to use a Cell Phone.

    As a parent, I don’t have a problem with adults drinking alcohol, but if UNC doesn’t have it for football games, I am shocked that you would have it for an Elementary School fundraiser.

  4. Terri Buckner

     /  August 31, 2011

    The WCHL article says the servers were “students of this principal.” I know that she opened the school in 2003 so I assume she was a principal or teacher somewhere else before Rashkis. The assumption here on CHW seems to be that “students” mean current elementary school kids, which I know is not true. Penny wouldn’t allow it, nor would the principal or the parents. Has anyone checked to see if the servers were 18 or older ?

  5. Mark Marcoplos

     /  August 31, 2011

    I just found out that Red Herring was featured on the menu.

  6. Nancy Oates

     /  August 31, 2011

    The school system spokeswoman, Stephanie Knott, just confirmed that Rashkis received $25 from Penny Rich on Aug. 26, and that appears to be the only donation related to the party. I’ve changed the text of the post to reflect that information.

    I certainly hope the servers were adults who were former students. Penny didn’t make that distinction, but I’m hoping for the sake of the principal who doesn’t deserve to be involved in something untoward that the servers were kids who had turned 10 in the first half of 2003.

    And the fact that a party for more than 100 people netted only $25 in drink ticket sales makes me wonder why the need to serve alcohol at all? The school had already had an alcohol-free evening celebration at Rashkis. Why was Penny’s party necessary?

  7. Sour grapes for dessert

  8. DOM

     /  August 31, 2011

    Mr. Marcoplos,

    Actually, I believe crow was served.

  9. Mark Marcoplos

     /  August 31, 2011

    Mr. DOM – I was thinking the same thing. Well, maybe we’ll evenually get ALL the details, including the menu items. After all, that may hold a tidbit of speculation that will allow Penny to be further blog-flogged. In fact, there’s been no proof that proper recycling was done at the event. Harumph! And she calls herself an environmentalist? Did anyone park illegally or inconvenience the neighbors? Was the facility left in sparkling clean condition? All these things could reflect badly on Penny and by extension all those so-called “progressives” that think just becasue they continually elect a majority of Council members that they should have any say in town policy. Let the digging continue on this critcial issue – the future of our town may hang in the balance.

  10. John Kramer

     /  August 31, 2011

    Nancy, at a penny a ticket that would be a lot of drinks. And I hate to say I told you so but…..LOL