How to support Community School after loss of Strawberry Festival

The 40th annual festival is canceled but Community School finds new ways to raise money

ROANOKE, Va. – Community School in Roanoke lost its biggest fundraiser due to the coronavirus pandemic, but they aren’t giving up.

In the past, it’s raised 10s of thousands of dollars for the independent school. The money would go towards bridging the gap of operational costs.

Canceling the festival wasn’t ideal.

When the pandemic started to unravel, Community School decided it wasn’t safe for their 75 volunteers to be in one kitchen baking 10,000 shortcakes, the big way they raise money at the festival. This also meant it wasn’t safe to have 20,000 people pass through Elmwood Park during the festival weekend.

Liz Johnson, director of marketing and development for the school explains there are still ways for people to support. They’ve launched an online merchandise store.

“If people go to that store they can make a purchase in the amount of a shortcake. A shortcake would be $6 on the festival day. If they want to chip in and help us bring the festival back next year as a community school we would appreciate the support,” said Johnson.

Purchasing merchandise isn’t the only way you can support the community school and spread the strawberry festival spirit. There’s also a virtual 5K run called the Strawberry Sprint.

Originally, the Strawberry Sprint was added to this year’s festival to commemorate the 40th anniversary, but because of the pandemic, it’s going virtual.

Registration is $25. You can start and complete the distance on your own however you would like. The medal will get shipped to you after the run. The deadline to register is May 1st.

Register for the run here.

Johnson hopes the Strawberry Sprint and the online store is just the beginning when it comes to creative ways to get the community together this year.

“We hope to have something new and fun maybe down the road, but I think nobody can really plan right now so we’re just appreciating the community we have and staying connected with our students and strawberry festival fans.”

To learn more about Community School click here.

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