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Mum's the word at Forest Elementary School



TROY -- A little ingenuity and a lot of hard work led to Halloween-themed mum planters laid out as far as the eye could see Thursday morning in the Forest Elementary School parking lot.


“Are there a million?” one young student asked of Forest principal Paul Hohlbein.


Not quite, but it was still an impressive amount, 1,218 to be exact, sold by students as part of the Forest Elementary School PTO’s fall fundraiser. Students raised nearly $6,000 in profits, which the PTO will use on projects to benefit the school. 


“We’re just shocked and blessed at the way this has taken off,” Hohlbein said. “It’s been incredible. When we started this three years ago, we thought we’d sell maybe 400 or 500. That first year we ended up selling 800. Last year we sold around 1,500 and then this year we sold 1,200. We also have a spring flower sale, and we’ve done really well with that over the years, too.”


The students sold “mumkins” and “munsters,” which were mums in pumpkin, bat, cat, Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, mummy or plain “replacement” planters. Not only were the students responsible for selling the mums, but they also will be in charge of delivering them to customers, as well. The Forest PTO partnered with Foertmeyer and Sons Greenhouse Company.


“The first thing is, I think the quality of the product really speaks for itself,” Hohlbein said. “People love them. The second thing is, the people of Troy really support the kids of Troy and the schools of Troy. Kudos to our kids for selling them and to our PTO for putting this all together. They’ve got this down to a science. There’s about a three-hour window for pick up and I can promise you if you come back at the end, there won’t be any leftovers.”


Students from The Future Begins Today program, along with members of Forest’s student council, helped unload and sort the mums. There were 128 of 261 Forest students who participated in the sale.

This year’s leading seller was Caroline Rohlfs, who sold 78 planters. Last year she also was the top seller with 82 sold. In addition to going door-to-door in her neighborhood, she also wrote a poem and took orders on her mother’s Facebook page.

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