Unique United Way Campaign "Peeping" Around the Corner Just in Time for Easter

By Trina Runner on February 27, 2018 via Connect-Bridgeport.com

What’s pink and yellow and full of sweetness?  Peeps, of course!  United Way of Harrison County will be using the seasonal treat at the center of its newest fundraising campaign.  Michelene Sheppard is the brainchild behind the idea, which is a mix of sugar, fashion and an unforgettable debut of the Easter Bunny.
“I have always loved the idea of an Easter Parade,” said Sheppard.  “I thought it would be fun to have each school design an outfit using Peeps treats and the ‘fashion show’ could lead the Easter Bunny to his first day of work at Meadowbrook Mall.”
Coincidentally, there are 25 United Way agencies and 25 Harrison County Schools, so Sheppard worked with United Way Director Tina Yoke to match schools with agencies for the project.  Bridgeport High School is partnered with Family Service, an agency that provides counseling to individuals and families in need.  Bridgeport Middle School is partnered with Literacy Volunteers.
Each agency-school team has been asked to design and decorate a fashion item or outfit using Peeps.  They are encouraged to be outrageous and to celebrate the fanfare of the Easter Parade.  On March 10 at 11:50, the parade will begin in front of Target and the participants will guide the Easter Bunny through the crowds to his new home in front of the children’s play area.
For Bridgeport High School, Gia Salentro has already been working on an outfit using Peeps and other surprises.  Her creativity is evident in the design, but it shall remain a secret until the parade.  When the parade is finished, photos of the outfits and, in some cases, the outfits themselves, will be displayed around the mall.
“I love everything about fashion,” Salentro. “I am excited about designing a unique outfit for the show and to help raise funds for the United Way.”
Each group has been challenged with coming up with creative ways to raise money for United Way through the project.  While details are still in the works, the collective teams are hoping to help United Way reach its financial goals.  All money raised will go toward United Way agencies, which include American Red Cross, Bi-County Nutrition, Family Services, Literacy Volunteers, Boy Scouts, Central WV Community Action, Gorilla Youth, Empowerment Through Employment, CASA, 4-H, Girl Scouts, Harrison County Child Advocacy Center, Legal Aid, Health Access, Hope, Inc., Camp Catch-Your-Breath, People’s Hospice, Scott Place Homeless Shelter, Susan Dew Hoff Memorial Clinic, YMCA, PWA, Family Resources Network, Read, Write, Graduate, and Stars and Strides.
Sheppard coordinated with the United Way, Harrison County Schools and Meadowbrook Mall to pull the entire event together.
“I hope it raises awareness and funds for the United Way,” she said. “They are such a vital part of our community resources and helping meet their financial goals in a fun way has been an experience I will not forget.”
Vendors will be set up on March 10 throughout the mall with various activities promoting agencies and collecting funds.  The agency-school group that raises the most money will win a prize.

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