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Hamilton County School District's Unique Way of Raising Money
CLEVES, Ohio (Jeff Hirsh) -- Voters are not always willing to pick up more costs through taxes but one school district in Hamilton County came up with a unique way of fundraising. These students at the Three Rivers Educational Campus, Three Rivers Middle School and Taylor High School are not just in any old classroom. They're in the Earl McBrayer memorial classroom, down the hall from the Howard F. Morris classroom and upstairs from the Coffey-Ardilla Family cafetorium. Here in Three Rivers, if you want to buy it, it's yours. Of course, you don't actually own what you buy, just the naming rights. Everything between 650,000 dollars for the football field, to 100 dollars for a brick with your name on it. The elementary school gym has already gone for 10,000 dollars and the spirit wear shop for 2,500. That shop is named for a former cheerleading coach. "All the cheerleaders that she taught chipped in and bought her a plaque and now she has the spirit shop." Favorite teacher? Name a classroom. Favorite Janitor? 500 bucks for a custodian's closet. The money raised goes to the Fields of Dreams Campaign. In return for the voters paying for the new school building, officials agreed to finance sports facilities through donations, not a tax hike. Soccer field is already paid for and there's enough money for a football field and bleachers on empty land next door. But the Field of Dreams Campaign is dreaming bigger. "We probably need another one million dollars to get the track and the field house completed. Then we will move into phase three which will include a baseball and softball facility. We plan to continue this so we can have all the facilities we need for our student athletes and our community." Of course not everybody has half a million dollars for a performing arts center. But 9-year-old David Hernandez gave his entire savings in dimes and quarters. "I did it because they were building this brand new school for us and I thought that was nice so I gave them some money. His older brother said, "I was really amazed at how much he had saved up because seeing it counted on the floor was really crazy." But bricks are 100 dollars. David only had 78. So big brother Michael kicked in the rest and soon, "It's a picture, it's a brick with me and his name written in gold." You know me being a reporter I thought I would buy the naming rights to the media center; but it's 25,000 dollars and somebody already beat me to it. So what is more in my price range? "Somebody asked us if they could do a toilet stall. They haven't come back with the money but we said okay if you want to do a toilet stall!" Hmm, yeah, that's in my price range. Yeah, I can afford that! The Three Rivers district already raised more than 150,000 dollars through the sale of naming rights. They're also going after grants with no naming needed. The National Football League and the Bengals kicked in 200,000 dollars to help buy turf for the new football field. That turf was once used in the Louisiana Superdome.
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