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Paying it forward: DL freshmen raise $1,200 for nonprofits at rummage, bake sale

A plate of chocolate chip cookies sits on one of the many bake sale tables. Kaysey Price / Tribune1 / 7
The Detroit Lakes High School freshmen seminar classes put on a charity rummage/bake sale last Thursday. The event turned out to be a hit. Kaysey Price / Tribune2 / 7
Each class was in charge of a different aspect of the sale. One class took on the task of signage to get the word out. Kaysey Price / Tribune3 / 7
Students, teachers, staff and community members perused the various rummage sale items when the sale began after school Thursday. Kaysey Price / Tribune4 / 7
Cookies, rice krispie treats, pies and more! The bake sale portion took up a number of tables in the high school commons area. Kaysey Price / Tribune5 / 7
Tables of rummage sale items filled the high school commons area. Kaysey Price / Tribune6 / 7
Students check out the various baked goods. Kaysey Price / Tribune7 / 7

The first-ever freshmen Pay It Forward Project, a rummage/bake sale, went off without a hitch at Detroit Lakes High School last Thursday, raising a total of $1,200 from donations and sales combined.

Leading up to the sale, freshmen seminar instructors Aaron Swenson and Mike Labine said they weren't sure how the event was going to go, since it was the first of its kind, and the teachers put a lot of the event in the students' hands.

The students spent a good month preparing for the sale, each hour breaking into groups that would cover different aspects of the sale: marketing, signage, pricing, set up, tear down, etc.

And their hard work paid off. The high school commons was lined with tables of goodies and garage sale items, from cookies and pies to shoes and stuffed animals.

The sale began at 3:30 p.m., when school let out, and carried on into half time at the home girls' basketball game, drawing hundreds of students, staff and community members alike.

Students lobbied for which non-profit organizations they would like to donate 100 percent of their proceeds to, and decided on eight: Lakes Crisis Center, Becker County Food Pantry, Make a Wish Foundation, Marshmallow Fund, American Cancer Society, Marc Henderson Fundraiser, Fly Time and the Humane Society.

The students plan to invite the non-profits into their classrooms in the coming weeks to present each of them with a check and, hopefully, hear a little presentation from each one about what it's like to work at the organization.

"(We) would like to thank the public for their generosity and participation in this inaugural event," said Labine and Swenson. "We are hoping the 'Pay It Forward' message will continue on this holiday season and beyond."