Onekama P.T.O. 
Honey & Maple Syrup Sales
Onekama elementary children sold local maple syrup and honey. Here is a group posing with the honey and syrup.

Top Row: Emily B, Logan F, Elizabeth B. 

Middle Row: Emily C.B and Kelly K. 

Front Row: Cady L, Lauryn J, Sylvia N, Kamryn V. and Claire H.

Local honey providers Marianne Brown and Laurie Brown, pose with Mary Bergren, PTO president. (Marianne is a recent Onekama graduate.)

The Sieverts are our Arcadia Maple Syrup connection. Many students have toured their facility. Link 2004

With state funding for schools in Michigan not being quite what it used to be, students, parents, and staff have begun to find other ways to raise money for the various projects and events throughout the year. One of the most common ways is selling different goods to people in the community.

Members of the Onekama PTO decided to do just that, but with a twist. They decided not to sell just any product, but locally made goods that were tasty as well as unique.

"One of our teachers, Gretchen Eichberger, is the one who teaches a lot of these ideas about farming and how the whole market works", explained Mary Bergren, PTO president. "She presented the idea to the elementary staff and they embraced it. The PTO took ownership of the idea because the teachers don't have time to sell the product, collect the items, and do the inventory. But when we have the support of the teachers, we know we have a good idea."

From there, the PTO launched a new fundraiser called the Community Fundraiser, and got the local producers of maple syrup and honey and told them we wanted to sell their product. The idea was well received and they made an agreement with Brown's Honey in Onekama and Sievert's in Arcadia.

The idea behind it was, that one -- we were supporting the community, and two -- it was unique, quality item that people would use," Mrs. Bergren added.

The PTO created an in-house order form, then went around to each classroom to inform the students about what they were going to offer.

In just 10 days the students collected $5,849 -- $3,186,80 of which went to pay the suppliers for the product and $2,662.20which went to the PTO.

"The PTO gives the money back to the students," Mrs. Bergren explained. "We help with field trips, and the major expense the PTO has is the Good Behavior Ski Day. Another field trip they pay for is the visit to historic Mackinac Island."

"Hopefully, we can keep putting the money back into the community, and boost the local economy."

The above was excerpted from Eye On Education with Nikki Mezeske, published in the Manistee News Advocate, November 10, 2005

e-mail PTO President Mary Bergren

Onekama Elementary School Main Page for 2006:

Onekama's Main Page leads to school pages created since 1997:

Third Graders Visit the Sieverts: March 2006

Carla Sievert, honey provider with student Matthew Hull and PTO President Mary Bergren

"What a great project!" said Mary Bergren. "It was wonderful to be able to use local products."

Mary Bergren and Karry Gauthier, school volunteer, worked on assembling the orders