GAPNS Fundraising/Special Events Committee

GAPNS offers parents a small, unique preschool experience for their children and a wonderful community for their families. Because we are a nonprofit cooperative school we rely on fundraising events that make money, offer our general membership the opportunity to work together to help reach our financial goals, and to build community. Fundraisers should be fun and profitable. However, we should also be mindful that parents spend a lot of time volunteering for the school throughout the year.

Special events are another way to bring our membership and our community closer together. Special events should be fun and low-maintenance with a focus on GAPNS and strengthening the cooperative spirit.

The Fundraising/Special Events Committee should have two co-chairs. The co-chairs are responsible for organizing the committee work around each fundraiser and special event. For each event (either fundraiser or special event), the co-chairs will appoint at least one captain (in the case of the Spring Auction, two co-captains are recommended) who will be responsible for organizing the main details of the event. However, all committee members will be expected to help the captains, especially on the larger events like the fall picnic and spring fundraiser, which require a large amount of committee support in order to be a success.

Co-chairs are responsible for meeting with all committee members and the President and Vice President of the board in person at the beginning of the year to organize the events, set dates, and assign captains.

The board has identified the following events as GAPNS core fundraising/special events.


1. Original Works Artwork

The Original Works fundraising program takes children’s artwork created in the classroom and transforms it into various products like mugs, magnets, mouse pads, t-shirts, tiles, which can be purchased by parents. It typically takes place in the fall so that it can be tied in with holiday shopping. Each child is eligible to participate in the program. Once the artwork is created, parents and children have the opportunity to select which product or products they would like to feature their artwork. The captain of this fundraiser should work directly with Original Works to set up the timeline. This is usually done in the fall. The program is historically done in the spring and scheduled for orders to be returned to families in time for Mother’s Day. The captain is responsible for making sure the membership knows in advance that this fundraiser is taking place—use email and the newsletter as a place to publicize the event. The captain also works with the teachers to make sure they have the supplies (i.e., cardstock paper) and guidelines they need to create the artwork in their classroom and to also work with teachers to make sure artwork is completed on time. Artwork goes home with orders to parents. Allow enough time for parents to make decisions. Also make allowances for parents who miss deadlines. DO NOT miss Original Works final deadline for submitting artwork and orders or the products will not arrive in time for the holidays. The captain will be responsible for sorting the orders when they arrive from Original Works and making sure the teachers have what they need to distribute the orders back to the parents.

2. Class Photos:

Many may not be aware that our class photos are a fundraiser. Skylight Studio in Highland, NY does GAPNS school photos. For all photos ordered, a portion of the proceeds goes back to the school. We have class photos done for each session as well as individual student photos. Families may also choose to have all of their children photographed at this time and alumni are welcome to participate. Our contact is Daniel McNamee. He can be reached at 845-691-3686. The website is 

The dates for the GAPNS photos are set a year in advance. The captain of this event is responsible for checking with the Vice President for the dates for the upcoming school year. She/he is responsible for contacting Skylight Studio at the beginning of the school year to confirm our dates and times and also for publicizing this event by email and coordinating with the newsletter and webmaster to make sure the dates of this event are well-known to the membership. She/he is also responsible for reaching out to alumni to let them know when photos will be taken. The captain is also responsible for working with the studio and the GAPNS parents to collect the money for class photos and for also picking up unpurchased packets to be returned to Skylight. This includes setting up a box in the lobby for collecting money and unpurchased photos, emailing the membership about the location of the box and the date parents’ have to either purchase or return packets. In addition, the captain is expected to clearly inform the teachers about packet purchase dates and returns so that they can help direct parents at pick up and drop off.

The captain is not required to be present at the photo session, however it is important to make sure the teachers are aware of the dates in advance and are able to assist the photographer with any questions. If it is not possible for teachers to assist the photographer, you will need to contact a parent from each class to act as a representative for the school or the captain will need to be present at each session. The money for photos is collected after the photo packets arrive at the school. Skylight makes up photo packets with about 20 pictures (various sizes) for each family that participates in the photo session. Families are able to select photos from the packet that they want to buy, order additional photos, or just return the packets should they not be interested in purchasing anything. Any photos that are not chosen from the packets MUST be returned with the payment for photos chosen. Collecting this money is the captain’s responsibility. Utilize the school mailboxes to send reminders to parents and encourage the parents to pay on time.

3. Poinsetta Sale:

The poinsettia sale takes place at the beginning of December. In the past, GAPNS has worked with Wessel’s Farm. Wessel’s should be contacted early in the year to schedule the pick-up date. Once the pick-up date has been established, please contact the secretary to make sure the Bradner room (or the entryway) is available for GAPNS members to pick up the plants. The captain of this event is responsible for contacting the vendor to get supplies (i.e., order forms), putting the order forms in mailboxes at least a month prior to deadline for order submission, collecting the orders and submitting to Wessel’s. The captain is also responsible for publicizing the event well in advance over email and for picking up plants and moving them to GAPNS for pickup. The captain may need volunteers from the committee to help pick up and move plants. On the day of the event, the captain is responsible for getting volunteers to come to the school to help hand out the poinsettias during the school hours. It is also important to have a back-up plan for snow closings and for what to do with the plants that people forget to pick up. Check with the Board on how many extra to order for teachers and for Pat in the office. 

4. Spring Plant Sale:

The Spring Plant Sale is very similar to the Poinsettia Sale and is also done with Wessel’s farm. This sale should be handled in the same way, but should take place a month prior to Mother’s Day, so that plants are distributed the week before Mother’s Day.

5. Spring Fundraiser:

This event takes place in April. However, planning and publicizing should begin in the fall. Two co-captains should be appointed to organize this event. However, members of the committee should be prepared to volunteer to help with the planning throughout the year. 

In the past, the event is comprised of two fundraising activities: 1) a dinner or cocktail party attendees purchase tickets for and 2) a tricky tray/silent auction/raffle of baskets and items donated by local businesses throughout the year.

The co-captains work with the committee co-chairs and the board to reserve a date and book a location for the event early in the school year (November). They are also responsible for using committee members to help solicit donations from local businesses for auction/raffle the night of the event. Each class also donates a basket for auction. The co-captains are responsible for coordinating with the Class Parents to make sure the baskets are prepared and delivered on time.

The co-captains should be prepared to discuss the status of the event at each General Membership meeting (January meeting announce the event and April meeting sell tickets and display donations), publicize the event throughout the year (i.e., publicize the event, announce teasers, anything to entice the families (current and alumni) to purchase tickets and attend).

6. Paint & Sip:

Select a venue to host a paint & sip fundraiser. The event room at Christopher’s Bistro in Chester has previously been used. Admission pricing includes paint, 2 glasses of wine and gratuity. Jody Pepe of Bottoms Up Creations previously secured for the event. Secure a donation from a local liquor store for a raffle giveaway to enhance the event.

7. Pedal:

Partner with local business, Pedal, for a GAPNS spin class. Previously, owner Cindy Kaplan donated price of admission to GAPNS.


Special Events

1. Fall Picnic:

All current GAPNS families are invited to attend. The secretary will book the date with Craigville Park, so please coordinate with her. The captain may choose to invite alumni families as well. Ideas for the picnic can include pizza, s’mores, scavenger hunt, face/pumpkin painting. In the past, the Picnic has also drawn on volunteers to donate food items (e.g., chili, hot dogs and other dishes to pass to keep the cost of the event down.) Please consult with board and teachers about past decorations and games that were purchased for the Fall Picnic. These items should be stored at school and reused. Please advertise the picnic at school via members’ mailboxes, as well as signs on the bulletin boards. Also use the GAPNS listserv to send out email reminders.

2. Spaghetti Dinner:

This event typically takes place after winter break in February. This is another way for GAPNS families to come together for a fun evening of food and games. The captain of this event should work with the secretary on securing a date and reserving Fellowship Hall with the church.

In the past food has been donated by the committee and we have also purchased food from a local restaurant. The captain and committee co-chairs should coordinate with the board about the budget for the event and how the food should be handled. Sam’s Club has been generous in the past and donated sheet cakes for dessert.

Past themes have included Princess and Pirates. Children and parents are encouraged to dress up. Games, tattoos, stickers, and candy have been part of the giveaways to the children. The captain is responsible for publicizing the event to GAPNS families and should be prepared to solicit help from other committee members to organize the food and games as well as help with setup and cleanup the night of the event.

3. Community Dinner:

The church makes Fellowship Hall available for local groups to provide dinners to those in need in the Goshen Community. In the past, GAPNS has volunteered to provide dinner one of those nights. This is a nice dinner hosted in Fellowship Hall and is a way for GAPNS to give back to the community.

The captain of this event will work with the board and the PR committee to organize the Community Dinner. Sign-up sheets will need to go up at least two weeks in advance asking all GAPNS families for both food donations as well as volunteers for the day of the event.

4. 3-Day AM and 4/5-Day Graduation:

One or two captains are responsible for coordinating the graduation reception at Goshen Intermediate School. The secretary will have already booked the day and time. The captains will need to assist the teachers with setup on the day of as well as transporting chairs and decorations to GIS. Please utilize signup sheets for both set up and clean up and all of the refreshments. Parents of non-graduating children should be assisting with the setup and cleanup so that the parents of children graduating can enjoy the evening with their children. Each family assisting with graduation should bring one item (food or paper product). Signup sheets will help reduce repeats of the same items.


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