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The Malvern School® of Blue Bells Participates in “Battle of the Schools” to Benefit Cradles to Crayons

As seen in The Times Herald

Goldenberg Group hosts Sixth Annual May Day benefit at Metroplex
By Gary Puleo @MustangMan48 on Twitter

May 16, 2019

May Day

Cradles to Crayons ‘Champion Volunteer’ Mike Pauciello orients student volunteers from Springfield Middle School — participant in the “Battle of the Schools” collection competition —  to sort and quality-check clothing donations at Metroplex May Day.

PLYMOUTH — A carnival atmosphere and a record number of donations for Cradles to Crayons recently marked the Sixth Annual Metroplex May Day at the Metroplex Shopping Center in Plymouth Meeting.

Taking up residence once again in the Target area of the shopping center developed and owned by The Goldenberg Group of Blue Bell, the May Day celebration continued and expanded the company’s unique brand of philanthropy.

“The event has really grown and evolved in its structure and its mission every year,” said Kate Morrow, community projects manager. “And that speaks to Goldenberg and its strong partnerships that just push to make the event better every year.”

In addition to a variety of festive entertainment, the list of ever-growing partnerships was highlighted this year by Food Truck Craze, which brought seven food trucks to help satisfy cravings while promoting the carnival ambience, Morrow noted.

“This year we added what we call a Free Family Fun Night, and we worked with an organization called Food Truck Craze, which organizes food trucks in suburban areas. They have thousands of followers that follow them all over,” she said. “We also had an aerialist, jugglers, an obstacle course, hula hoops. We tried to make a real fun atmosphere for people to come out.”

At the root of the merriment, of course, is the charitable core of the event, as The Goldenberg Group and Cradles to Crayons teamed up for a “Battle of the Schools,” which saw students from 20 area schools in competition to collect the most donations of new or like-new clothes, shoes, toys, books, baby gear and new baby supplies for local children living in poverty.

In the West Conshohocken-based nonprofit that provides homeless and low-income children with life’s basic essentials and operates as efficiently as any for-profit enterprise, The Goldenberg Group has targeted an organization that echoes founder and CEO Ken  Goldenberg’s altruistic philosophy.

Participants in this year’s “Battle of the Schools” competition included: Whitemarsh Elementary, Bridgeport Elementary School, Colonial Elementary School, Conshohocken Elementary School, Fort Washington Elementary School, Franconia Elementary, Garnet Valley Elementary School, Montgomery Elementary, Plymouth Elementary School, The Malvern School of Blue Bell, Upper Merion Area Middle School, Welsh Valley Middle School, Hatboro Horsham High School, Blair Mill Elementary School, Springfield Township Middle, Perkiomen Valley High School, Caley Elementary, Norristown Area High School, Roberts Elementary School and Makefield Elementary School.

When results were calculated, Fort Washington Elementary had collected the most bags overall, 482, while Conshohocken Elementary had collected the most bags per student, 1.89.

The total number of bags collected was 2,380, and the total number of children served was 3,763.

Each of the two winning schools will receive a $1,250 grant.

“It seems that the schools that have participated year after year have increased their collections, so we have more donations than ever,” noted Morrow, who said Metroplex retailers universally support the cause, including anchor stores Target, Giant and Lowe’s Home Improvement.

“We’ve had great participation from each of the retailers at the Metroplex, most notably, Target, which provided their parking lot space and a ton of gift cards for our prize wheel and free hot dogs all day. Also, Giant has been a huge contributor,” she added. “They provided breakfast and lunch for the volunteers throughout the day, and they’re also sending volunteers of their own and have made a $1,000 donation in gift cards. All the tenants have donated something, whether it’s gift cards or coupons or in-kind donations, so that we can raffle them off and push to raise more donations.”

A popular feature for visitors, a “Wheel of Fortune”-like prize wheel, gives all participants a chance to win something on the spot, Morrow explained.

“Anyone that makes a donation to Cradles, either in clothing or monetary donation , that’s their ‘ticket’ to spin the prize wheel. So they walk away with their prize.”

Barnes & Noble is continuing the spirit of the event through May 17, with a week-long “book fair fundraiser,” Morrow pointed out.

“Any person that makes a purchase in the store or online and mentions the Cradles book fair a portion of the proceeds will go to Cradles to Crayons.”

Additionally, UPS donated its services with tractor trailers and volunteer laborers, “so that was a huge piece of the puzzle. They’ve just been fantastic, helping to load the donations and transport them to the Cradles warehouse. So that was a huge contribution that wouldn’t be possible without them. Also, M&T Bank contributed at the $3,000 level and also sent a group of volunteers. We really work collaboratively with our partners on this event,” Morrow added, “and we’re always brainstorming how we can make it more fun and drive more traffic.”

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