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Teachers do battle to benefit NCSD foundation

A dozen female teachers from all over the North Clackamas School District will kick off Milwaukie’s First Friday by putting the fun back in fundraising, as they put their elbows on the table and get ready to arm wrestle.

by: PHOTO BY ERIN FLINTJER - Alexis Moore (Scarlett O'Terror) puts the hurt on Denise Torres (Denise the Destroyer) as Ruby Flintjer gets ready to whistle. Hosted by The Warrior Room, a kettlebell studio located in downtown Milwaukie, at 1928 S.E. Washington St., the purpose of the event is to raise money for the North Clackamas Education Foundation.

The event is raising a few eyebrows as well, said foundation board member Jeanne Magmer, but to people who are asking why the event is happening, she has an answer.

by: PHOTO BY ERIN FLINTJER - Alexis Moore, a fourth grade teacher at Lewelling Elementary School, swings a kettlebell as she trains for the arm-wrestling event. “It’s teachers doing it, and it is an opportunity for us to get more attention,” she said, noting the foundation has gained more attention from this event than any other.

It also is going to be “just plain fun,” Magmer said, adding that sometimes people just need a “feel-good” event.

Oak Grove resident Jodi Schreffler, who regularly works out at The Warrior Room, came up with the idea for the event, based on a successful arm-wrestling venture last September at the same venue.

She finds the fact that female teachers were willing to put themselves on the line and help raise money for their students “inspiring,” she said, but also noted that the activity is a collaboration between teachers and the community.

The Warrior Room owners are donating the space for the event; Revolve Vintage is providing chairs for seating; Sojourner School’s marimba band will kick off the event; and Schreffler’s daughter Ava, a Riverside Elementary School second grader, and her friends, Addie Mae and Khloe Watkins, will have a lemonade stand.

“This is an alcohol-free, family-friendly event, and the girls will make the lemonade at the Painted Lady,” a coffee shop in downtown Milwaukie, Schreffler said, adding that New Seasons donated the lemons.

She also said the vintage chairs will have price tags attached, and if people what to buy the chairs, Revolve Vintage will donate 10 percent of the price to the foundation.

The arm-wrestling event is from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., and afterward Schreffler encourages attendees to head out to participating restaurants and food vendors, as they take in all the activities surrounding Milwaukie’s First Friday.

She added, “We just found out that Pronto Pizza is offering all kids who go to the event free Zeppole from their booth at First Friday, and Breakside Brewery is offering a free beer to adults.”

And back to putting the fun in fundraising, is the fact that students will be able to watch their teachers arm wrestle.

“If I could have seen my teacher arm wrestling, that would have made my day,” Schreffler said.

But, she added, “The North Clackamas Education Foundation needs help, and this is all about raising money for the foundation, which provides equal opportunities in the classroom.”

Ready to rumble

Part of the fun of preparing for the arm-wrestling event is choosing a name; just ask Scarlett O’Terror and Dame Denise the Destroyer.

Alexis Moore, a fourth-grade teacher at Lewelling Elementary School, said her friends gave her the name Scarlett O’Terror, but didn’t provide any other details.

She chose to participate in the event to support the foundation, the community and her school.

“Also, based on past fundraising events hosted by The Warrior Room for organizations like Northwest Housing Alternatives and the Annie Ross House, it’s certain to be fun and entertaining,” she added.

“I think people, especially our students, will have a blast seeing teachers dressed up and competing in an arm-wrestling tournament to support education. I know if my teachers had done something like this when I was a kid, it would’ve been pretty memorable.”

Calling the foundation an “amazing organization that does wonderful things for our schools that the budget can’t always accommodate,” Moore said the event will be “a great opportunity for people to get out and experience all that the downtown Milwaukie community has to offer at First Friday.”

As for Dame Denise the Destroyer, Denise Torres confessed she needed help with her name, and in the end Schreffler came up with the moniker.

Torres teaches first grade and is one of the founding teachers at Sojourner School.

“I wanted to participate because of the terrific things that the North Clackamas Education Foundation does for students and teachers across the district. They work very hard to help teachers create outstanding educational experiences that enhance and extend the work done in the classroom,” she said.

She also thought it would be fun and is always up for a little goofiness.

Although she admits she is not training in any serious way, she does lug heavy books from one end of the classroom to the other all day and works on her lunges while tying her students’ shoes.

Torres added, “People should come and support this event because the more we earn, the more opportunities will be available to the kids and teachers in North Clackamas.”

Schools face challenges

The North Clackamas Education Foundation was started in 1992 to raise money to make sure music and the arts did not disappear from the curriculum, Magmer said. Now the organization has taken on other projects.

“We are working really hard to fill the gap between district funding and what kids need. We want to increase the amount of money to teachers’ classroom programs, we want to expand the Wichita Center family-support programs, and we provide scholarships, as well,” Magmer said.

“Schools are facing so many challenges with reduced funding, families are facing challenges and we have more homeless students. So this is a good idea to raise money for schools, and the foundation serves all the schools in the North Clackamas School District.”

by: PHOTO BY ERIN FLINTJER - Pictured are Alexis Moore, Jeanne Magmer, North Clackamas Education Foundation board member, and Denise Torres.  Magmer also said that businesses along Main Street have “stepped up to the plate,” donating a portion of sales that night to the foundation.

She added, “One of our goals is to be a household word, so that when you think about schools, you will think about the foundation helping all kids in all schools. And now all those businesses know about us, and each one will get a sticker that says ‘Good schools are good for business.’"

Raise your arms

What: Female teachers arm-wrestling event to raise funds for the North Clackamas Education Foundation

When: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 2

Where: The Warrior Room, 1928 S.E. Washington St., Milwaukie

Details: $5 admission for spectators, but there will be front-row VIP tickets for any donation over $10. The event will be highly visible on a stage with 48 VIP seats surrounding the arena. Children are free and encouraged to come out to support their teachers.

More: Call The Warrior Room at 503-841-0049. Visit firstfridaymilwaukie.com to see a full list of activities and vendors.

Participating teachers and their schools

Melanie Adams, Cascade Heights Public Charter; Dalene Agost, Oregon Trail Elementary; Jennifer Dove-Kiltow, Sunnyside Elementary; Stephanie Fitzgerald, Rex Putnam High School; Cheyenne R. Freeman, Alder Creek Middle School; Sarah Makarchek, Happy Valley Middle School; Alexis Moore, Lewelling Elementary; Megan Niemitz, Rowe Middle School; Jessica Oberg, Riverside Elementary; Rose Oviatt, Milwaukie Elementary; Barbara Spisla, Clackamas High; and Denise Torres, Sojourner



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