Tree Sales Make the Season Brighter for IBW Clubs, Sports, and Programs


Cate Latimer (she/her), Editor

During this time of year, Christmas tree sales are on every street corner. One, however, is different from the rest. 

In the A-Boy parking lot, located three minutes from Ida B. Wells, is the IBW Booster Club Tree Sale, a fundraiser where each dollar made goes towards funding clubs and sports at IBW. 

“The tree sale is our biggest fundraiser each and every year,” said Booster Club president Jessica Christiansen, “And we use the money that we receive to grant requests from all kinds of teams and clubs.”

The tree sale is truly a community effort. From speech and debate to women’s tennis to the theater department, many school organizations volunteer their time to work with customers, A-Boy lends IBW their parking lot, and Booster Club leads work with a grower in Malala to provide the trees. 

With any school-approved club, athletic team, or program that is planning on asking the booster club for supplemental funding being allowed to participate, shifts often fill up quickly, but this doesn’t mean that these organizations only receive the money made during their shift. “It’s not like you have to work so many hours at the tree sale and that that correlates directly to those sales or to a certain dollar amount,” Christiansen said, “But what it does do is it fills our pot, and then we get grant requests of all shapes and sizes, and it allows us to consider them and what the students in the club or on the team have done to help raise the money that we want to allocate.”

With the booster club giving up to $45,000 in grant requests during the year, participation in fundraisers is key for clubs and sports that need funding, whether students be volunteering for tree sales or working in concessions during sporting events. 

“Clubs are not funded by PPS at all, so it has to be either by fundraising or through boosters grants,” said Erica Caldwell, IBW’s business manager. “And as far as sports go, if it’s a club sport, like ski team or lacrosse, which is not a PIL sport, they have to do all their own fundraising.”

The impact of these tree sales is evident in the IBW community. With the booster club’s funding, countless clubs and programs have received funding. Makerspace has been granted a startup budget to provide equipment and supplies without having to fundraise on their own—a process difficult for a new club, and IBW’s sports medicine program was granted money for jackets and first-aid kits for students on the sidelines at football games. 

With the tree sales coming to a close, the booster club is excited to help those across the school community to fund another year of extracurricular activities. “If you have an approved club, you should go to the IBW Booster Club website and look at the funding requirements and see if you can submit a grant request,” Christiansen said. “We want to help as many groups of kids as we can with these pools of money.”

The IBW tree sales came to a close on December 11, but you can still support the IBW booster club here.