MOUNT FOREST – The 15 or so pizzas Christina Kaye and Lorri Dickert normally toss together for Thursday pizza days at St. Mary Catholic School haven’t been made for the past two weeks.
An electrical fire broke out at the school on Jan. 25, causing millions in damage, and forcing 200 students in 10 classes to be relocated to local churches, putting pizza days on hold.
“It’s a big loss in our community,” Papa V’s Pizza owner Christina Kaye told the Advertiser last week.
“It’s big talk all over Mount Forest.”
So Kaye told Dickert, the store’s manager, “We’ve got to do a fundraiser.”
Two dollars from each large-sized item is being donated to the school to help purchase classroom and recess supplies lost in the fire.
“They shouldn’t have to sacrifice because a fire happened; they should be able to go to school; they should be able to play with stuff; they should be able to have books and craft supplies,” Kaye said. “The kids pull on my heart strings.”
Kaye said helping to alleviate some of the expenses so teachers aren’t having to purchase supplementary items such as board games and books out-of-pocket is the least she can do.
Principal Michele Hasson told the Advertiser it’s generous of Kaye to start the fundraiser.
“Teachers have their own items that they bring to classes … and additional resources that they’ve kind of purchased on their own,” she said.
The province and board cover the cost of most classroom supplies, such as writing materials and books, Hasson explained.
“The money will go toward those supplementary pieces like games and activities and things that we sometimes fundraise for classes,” she said.
Since starting the initiative on Jan. 25, at least $362 has been raised, as of Feb. 2 – all from Papa V’s sales.
“We’re doing good,” Kaye remarked.
She expects a $500 fundraising goal to be quickly surpassed with the “overwhelming” support from the community coming in.
Physical items such as reading books, board games, balls and skipping ropes for recess are also being collected at the Main Street store.
Hasson said the “generosity of the community has been absolutely overwhelming.”
“We’re just appreciative of the love and support that the community has wrapped around us.”
Kaye’s Papa V’s fundraiser continues until Feb. 11, after which funds and supplies will be donated to the school.
“It’s the community that keeps us strong,” Kaye said.