Members are always involved with March of Dimes projects during October and November, which is when money and awareness is raised for the March of Dimes organization.
FBLA’s first fundraiser was a friendly competition between Wellsville’s and West Franklin’s FBLA chapters. FBLA members from both schools had the opportunity to sell paper baby feet at one home football game and one home volleyball game for 25 cents each, and throughout the week of the district match-up game. The school that raised the most money was presented a baby doll in a cradle to display at their school for the entire year.
All money collected by the two schools will be donated to the Kansas March of Dimes charity at the FBLA State Leadership Conference in March.
This year, Wellsville FBLA won the competition with $253.44 raised, but West Franklin was close behind with $207.36, making it a grand total of $460.80. Wellsville’s officer team was presented with the baby doll during halftime at the home playoff game against West Franklin.
On Oct. 23, 40 FBLA members and parents participated in Trick-or-Treat for canned goods. For the past 15 years Wellsville FBLA members have divided the town and outlying area into eight sections with groups of four going door-to-door to ask for donations of canned goods for the local food pantry. More than 1,000 canned goods were gathered that night and taken to the Wellsville Food Pantry the next day.
Each November, Wellsville’s FBLA officers attend the National Fall Leadership Conference. This year, it was Nov. 8-9 in Dallas. Six of the officers — including seniors Ashley Ebeck and Chase Bouse, juniors Tori Broers and Trent Smith, and sophomores Ashtyn Rottinghaus and Katie Becker — took the 10-hour bus ride. On the way to Dallas, the officers stopped to visit the Oklahoma City bombing memorial.
This year’s NFLC had more than 3,000 members attend from across the country, with Kansas having the largest number of members in attendance. The officers Nov. 8 toured AT&T stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys, and visited Dealey Plaza (the site of the JFK assassination). That evening the officers heard Grant Baldwin speak at the opening session. Baldwin was an engaging communicator, who’s a leading expert at helping high school students prepare for life after high school.
For the closing session, Byron V. Garrett — who is a chairman of the National Family Engagement Alliance, former CEO of the National PTA, and much more — spoke in front of the college, high school and middle school students in attendance. Following the session, all of the members participated in the Blue Jeans for Babies dance, which is a fundraiser for the March of Dimes. As soon as the dance ended, the officers were on the bus headed back to Kansas, and ready to share the knowledge and experiences they had gained with their chapter members.
On Veterans Day, which was Nov. 11, Wellsville High School had its annual assembly for both the junior and high schools and the community. While the high school choir sang the anthems to each branch of the special forces, the FBLA officers carried the flags of the Marines, the Navy, the Coast Guard, the Air Force, the Army and the Prisoners of War and Missing in Action. FBLA members also assisted in bringing the nursing home residents to the assembly, while FBLA member Ashley Sparks created the Veterans Day programs to hand out to attendees.
One of the FBLA activities that has become a huge success over the past few years has been the FBLA American Enterprise Workshops that were Nov. 15. Fifth-graders from the Wellsville Elementary School traveled to the high school to learn about various American Enterprise topics. The workshops were taught by the Wellsville High School FBLA members. The fifth-graders rotated between each of the 10- to 15-minute workshops.
The topics presented this year included Dress for Success, Making the Most of Your Choices (Needs vs. Wants), Landing that Job, Dining Etiquette, Marketing your Product, Business Ethics, You Be the Jury, Risk vs. Return, Logos, Jingles & Slogans and Communication is Key. This event is important for the fifth-graders because it provides knowledge about various aspects of the American enterprise system. It also provides a field trip to the fifth-graders at no cost to the district, while also providing great speaking and presentation opportunities for the FBLA members. It also allows the FBLA members to serve as role models for the kids, while providing a valuable experience in teaching the next generation of leaders essential skills and knowledge.
Although the Wellsville FBLA chapter has been extremely busy during the months of October and November, the chapter activities will only be intensified as members work to make the holidays brighter for others in December. Wellsville FBLA is continuing to develop “Excellence in Action.”