Mattress Fundraiser


Sydney Speir

Mattress fundraiser posters can be found all around Hollis Brookline High School. According to Barbosa, advertisement will play a big part in the financial success of the fundraiser. “I think we did [the mattress fundraiser] about seven or eight years ago to mild success, but that was with a choir teacher that was part time instead of full time, so the advertisement for it wasn’t pushed as much,” said Barbosa.

Sydney Speir, Staff Writer

I’m sure you’ve heard of students selling candles and cookies to raise money, whether it’s for a sports team, student council, or a club. However, the Hollis Brookline High School Performing
Arts program will be holding a slightly less conventional fundraiser in order to raise money for band and choir expenses. On June 15, the HBHS gym will transform into a mattress showroom, open to anyone interested in purchasing.

The fundraiser is a great opportunity for people to purchase mattresses at a reduced price point while simultaneously supporting the high school’s band and choir. “This company, Fundraisers Inc, they come into our gym and they make a showroom out of it. It’s the same setup using our gym. When folks come in to buy a mattress, the performing arts program gets a cut of whatever is sold,” said Matthew Barbosa, a performing arts teacher at Hollis Brookline High School. Additionally, individual students can profit off of a purchase if the buyer has a referral slip with a student’s name on it. Part of this purchase will then go towards that student’s individual account for trips and other expenses.

So why did the HBHS performing arts program choose to sell mattresses instead of the usual bake sale or candles? “Everyone does a bake sale, but no one thinks to do a mattress fundraiser. You get more money per mattress, and everyone needs a mattress,” said Katie Hinchliffe ‘19, a current member of Honors Jazz Band.

“The reasons why Umstead and I really liked this fundraiser is because one: no one’s going door to door, and two: we’re not selling something that’s, frankly, useless,” said Barbosa. Although it may not seem like many people are in the market to buy a new mattress, Custom Fundraising Solutions says that one in ten people in the U.S. buy a mattress every year.

Cherokee High School of Evesham Township, New Jersey, is just one of many high schools throughout the U.S. that have used the mattress fundraiser to raise money. According to Custom Fundraising Solutions, “similar events have given back more than $18 million dollars to schools across the country.”

Barbosa predicts that the fundraiser will be a success based on previous years and other schools’ experiences. “Milford High actually just did two weekends and made $15,000 profit. Souhegan did it in December and this past month and made $10,000. When I was in high school, in the early 2000’s, my choir did it and my choir traveled to Europe every other year. The mattress fundraiser was a huge part of why were financially able to do that,” said Barbosa.

As the fundraiser is being held by the performing arts program as a whole, half of the proceeds will be allocated to the HBHS Band, managed by Dave Umstead. “The fundraiser is going to be split half and half between the band and the choir. [On the band side], that’s going to go towards instrument repair, scholarships for graduating seniors, helping out folks to help out financially for costs,” said Barbosa.

The other half of the fundraiser proceeds will go towards funding next year’s highly anticipated choir trip. In April 2020, HB choir students will be traveling to Portugal to perform. In comparison the previous trips, the Portugal trip will be a new step up for the HBHS choir.  “This is the first time we will be in charge of a full hour and a half long concert,” said Mitchell Cochran ‘20, a current junior in Honors Choir who hopes to attend the Portugal trip next spring.

“It is the first time we are traveling overseas with the choir, it’s the first time we are in charge of our own concerts in front of crowds we’ve never seen before in churches and that kind of thing. It’s really cool, but with that comes expenses,” said Barbosa.

The Disney Performing Arts trophy sits in the HBHS front lobby as a reminder of the success of Hollis Brookline High School performing arts program’s success. “We got the trophy at Disney Springs for participating, but it was good to be recognized for that sort of thing,” said Hinchliffe.

In the past, the trips attended by the choir and band have been both greatly successful and beneficial for the students and teachers attending. “Working with another school is even good for conductors. The teachers are learning from each other too. It just improves everybody,” said Umstead in regards to the 2019 Spring Disney trip.

Although the Portugal trip will obviously be much different than the Disney trip, it is sure to be a memorable and beneficial one. “Trips are always good because it reminds us that there’s a lot you can do with music in real life instead of it just being a hobby,” says Hinchliffe.

The mattress fundraiser will take place in the Hollis Brookline gymnasium on June 15 from 10am to 4pm.