Local Business Helps Students Create Keepsake Art for School Fundraisers
Many parents and schools approach fundraisers with mixed feelings. The proceeds are needed to benefit programs that may have limited resources, but they dread asking friends and family to buy unneeded low-quality products. One locally-based endeavor, Art to Remember, has a plan that teachers, students and parents actually enjoy. Its main emphasis is on raising money for elementary school art programs, but participating schools can use the money raised however they wish.
Art to Remember supplies the paper and even lesson plans for students to create their own original art. Then the drawings are printed on a choice of more than 40 keepsake products that parents, friends and relatives can purchase. The biggest sellers are refrigerator magnets which are the most popular with moms. Dads like the coffee mugs since they can be placed on a work desk. A few of the other items that are offered are cellphone cases, garden flags, pillow cases, ornaments and coasters.
Operating Art to Remember is a second career for seven-year owner Bill Boncosky. After several years as a lawyer both in private practice and as a general counsel, he realized his heart wasn’t in the profession anymore and he felt like he needed a change. His father had been a small businessman in the copier industry.
“My father was friends with other people who owned businesses,” Boncosky says. “They worked hard and sometimes had some struggles, but they all seemed to enjoy their work and were really engaged in it.”
After securing a business broker, Boncosky began looking for an enterprise that would be right for him. Art to Remember was brought to his attention and it seemed like a natural fit.
“Since there is a printing aspect to Art to Remember, I felt comfortable because my dad’s business was involved in that,” he says. “It also was rooted in a good cause. It was a great match and I’ve never regretted it.”
In September of 2017, the company moved to 9425 E. 59th Street on land Boncosky purchased form the Fort Harrison Reuse Authority. The roof is covered in solar panels which produces so much energy in the summer that electricity is spilled back on the grid. The building is large enough to handle everything the company produces and is located close to where most of the employees, called teammates, live.
During the production season, the company employs 150 people and is careful to stay true to its core values. Art to Remember received a Happiest Company award in their industry from the survey company TINYPulse. It was chosen from among thousands of other similar businesses.
“Luckily, I have had a lot of satisfying things happen while I have had this business, but winning that award was up at the top,” Boncosky says.
Something new that schools and parents are excited about is the ability to upload student work at any time during the year on the website gallery archives. Parents can then order items for themselves or family gifts. Fundraising credit is given to the child’s school for the following year.
Find out more at ArtToRemember.com or call 800-895-877 for more information.