Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MULCH MADNESS; Ponte Vedra High's Boys Lacrosse Team Finds a Unique Way to Raise Funds for Uniforms, Equipment and Expenses

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MULCH MADNESS; Ponte Vedra High's Boys Lacrosse Team Finds a Unique Way to Raise Funds for Uniforms, Equipment and Expenses

Article excerpt

Byline: MAGGIE FITZROY

They were ready, and highly organized.

They had hundreds of bales of pine straw. Thousands of bags of cypress mulch. And rows of 24- and 26-foot trucks ready to go.

Dads planned to drive the trucks as moms navigated and sons followed behind in smaller trucks, so they could deliver the mulch and pine straw to homes all over Ponte Vedra Beach.

"Mulch warriors, mulch madness," organizer John DeBiase said late Friday afternoon as he stood in the middle of the TPC parking lot off Palm Valley Road with a clipboard in his hand.

As he looked at the rows and rows of mulch and trucks and groups of parent and teen volunteers, he said, "This is the most efficient way we could figure it out."

DOUBLE THE VOLUME

The Mulch Madness fundraising sale was sponsored by the Ponte Vedra High School boys lacrosse team to raise money for uniforms, equipment and traveling expenses. This year's second annual sale, which took place through the weekend, was expected to raise $20,000 or more, doubling last year's proceeds, DeBiase said. Last year's sale was in the back of the school.

This year, "We doubled the volume so we needed this big field," he said.

Most sales were pre-ordered, and the approximately 175 volunteers spent the weekend delivering them, organizing the addresses according to community.

The event has proved successful because the prices are reasonable "and we deliver," DeBiase said. The lacrosse boys "run this stuff up your driveway. It's a great workout."

And it's a unique way to raise funds.

All St. Johns County public schools' sports teams are funded in large part through the fundraising efforts of athletes and their parents. The schools provide the playing fields or gym, but not uniforms or equipment or buses to away games.

DeBiase, whose son Michael is a senior, said lacrosse team parents thought of selling mulch because it was something different. …

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