Candles help heat up school fundraising

Published 10:04 am Friday, April 3, 2009

As a parent of 15-year-old twin boys, Sharon Pugh understands the yearly rite of passage that is fundraising. She also sees plenty of fundraising efforts at her Chelsea business, AlotA Scents.

“The kids that come in here, they’re selling coupon books, asking for donations or selling an ad,” she said. “And I just thought we could do something different.”

That “something different” translates to Pugh offering up her handmade candles as a unique fundraiser – with the focus on being unique.

“Every order’s going to be custom-made, so if the school wanted to do their school colors, they could do that. They can choose their fragrances,” she said.

With different candle products such as jar candles, stack candles and candle crumbles, in fragrances such as Crme Brulee, Caramel Apple, Pink Sugar, White Cotton and Lemon Grass, Pugh’s candles can appeal to anyone.

“If you don’t need it for your home, you can give it as a gift,” she said.

Although Pugh has been playing with the fundraising idea for a year, she’s just now gotten to the point where she’s ready to help schools make money. While she’s ready to kick off fundraising efforts for any school, team or organization that needs to raise money, she’s hoping this summer will see some fundraisers with the start of football practice.

Pugh said she’s trying to keep the deal as fair as she can for organizations by giving them the chance to immediately make money. After money is collected, organizations can take out 50 percent and then just hand the rest over to Pugh.

The fundraisers offer Pugh the chance to get her products out to people who may have never seen them before.

“It’s more about product awareness and letting people know the name,” she said. “In Chelsea, the motto is ‘It’s all about family.’ We feel that way too. We want to be a part of helping families in schools in the area.”

She said she’s been talking to officials at Chelsea Middle School about doing candles for a school band fundraiser, and is hoping to hear from more schools soon.

“I have children of my own, and I know how difficult it can be to pay for all their activities,” Pugh said. “Everyone wants to help with fundraisers, and with this, you’re really getting something back for what you give.”