Beef runs out at Taco Feed fund-raiser |

Beef runs out at Taco Feed fund-raiser

by Maggie O'Neill

Forty pounds of beef later, students at Carson Middle School are $600-plus closer to their goal of traveling to Washington, D.C., in March.

A two-hour taco feed fund-raiser at the school Oct. 11 raised close to $1,000, but organizers need to deduct more than $300 for last-minute expenses. Dinner was $12.50 per family.

“We came out of Wal-Mart on Saturday and saw a flier on our car for it,” said fund-raising co-chairwoman and parent Karen Rutledge, whose son Matt is an eighth-grader at the school. “We knew that parents and kids were doing a good job of circulating the announcements, but then we started panicking that there might be more people than we had donations for.”

She picked up extra cheese, lettuce, olives, sour cream and other toppings.

“By 7:30 p.m., we were out of ground beef, and we were down to our last crock pot of beans,” Rutledge said.

The taco feed is one of several fund-raisers to help send 35 eighth-graders to Washington, D.C., from March 26-31. Forty-three other eighth-graders are not raising funds and will pay the full $1,600 price.

“Our goal is to cut it at least by $300 per child,” Rutledge said. “That’s a big total. Two years ago, we did fund-raising for our daughter’s class. We raised $13,000 for the kids.”

When Rutledge decided to fund-raise for her daughter’s trip, she found it hadn’t been done in the past.

“That was the first class in 19 years to do fund-raising,” she said. “I heard a lot of ‘My child never got fund-raising when they went to Washington.’ You have 19 years of kids before that who paid between $1,100 and $1,500 to go on the trip.”

In addition to group fund-raising, students are encouraged to seek private business sponsors.

“This is a good, positive thing,” Rutledge said. “Because of fund-raising and the support in the community for everything they do, these kids are learning you can work hard, and that there are businesses and people in the community that will support them no matter what.”

Tito’s Fine Mexican Food, Mi Casa Too, El Charro Avitia, Burger King, Long John Silver, Taco Bell and Mission Linen donated items for the event.

“There was tons of parental involvement, and Carson Middle School allowed us to use the cafeteria,” she said. “We just want to thank everybody for helping the kids.”

Students will soon be selling See’s candies. Special orders of candy in 1-, 5- and 10-pound sizes will be shipped in time for Christmas.

“And to these kids right now, it is very important to see they can benefit by hard work and the involvement in the community,” Rutledge said. “(The trip) is an opportunity that our kids just aren’t going to get again. It’s history. It’s our country.”

Rutledge planned the taco fund-raiser with co-chairwoman Deborah Harris.

Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at mo’ or 881-1219.