Smoothies Saved Us

By: Megan Cohen

        After two feeble bites of a pathetic granola bar and a bumpy bus ride to school, you’re already certain that you won’t be able to face the day. But then comes the glorious realization that it’s Friday, which, for Tuscarora, means awaiting you in the cafeteria is the one thing that may turn everything around: smoothies.  Everyone has easily come to love the once-a-week fundraiser, but many don’t fully understand what happens each time you buy a smoothie.

           By itself, Friday is the most cherished day of the week. And now, thanks to the efforts of the PTSO and Tropical Smoothie Café, it’s even better. “It makes my day,” agrees freshman Max Malakooti-Garza. And how could it not, when even the most snack-restricting teachers allow you to bring your smoothie into class?

           With so many people loving Smoothie Friday, it’s no surprise how much money it brings in.  “Last year, we made $6,232.78,” says Kathleen Phillips, the vice president of fundraising and membership of the PTSO.  “We fundraise for the sports departments, clubs, grants for the school, and even scholarships,” she explains. So not only does your money get you a delicious smoothie, it also helps improve the school.

           Whose great idea is behind this? According to Phillips, it’s Karen Sopko’s, the former cafeteria manager here at Tuscarora. “She had done it at another school and suggested that we try it.” Unfortunately, she’s not here for us to thank, as she is now currently working at John Champe High School, but we’ll always know she was the one who kept our Fridays from getting a lot worse.

           The efforts of Tropical Smoothie and the PTSO can certainly be appreciated—every Friday, at eight o’clock, Vijay and Isabella from Tropical Smoothie, Phillips, and Marci Anderson, president of the PTSO, are already in the kitchen, quickly but efficiently blending up smoothies, setting out straws, and opening up the doors. Never once have we been told that Smoothie Friday has been cancelled for the week. Without fail, they come prepared every week.

           Obviously, while planning this fundraiser, the PTSO thought about the students of Tuscarora, not just the money.  “I think it turns into a bit of a social event, and it gives students something to do on Friday morning,” Phillips suggests. “We try every other week or so to give all the profits we earn that day to a specific organization in the school, such as AVID [or] the cheerleaders, and we let them know ahead of time and have them advertise the fact that it’s ‘their’ Smoothie Friday.”

           She couldn’t be more right about the social aspect, as the phrase “Let’s go get a smoothie” has become common among the Huskies on Friday mornings. The atmosphere of the school lightens even more as friends discuss their weekend plans over Chocolate Chillers and Sunrise Sunsets. Something as simple as a smoothie bring us all together, starting off our day right and ending the week on a good note.

           We all have those days where we wake up and instantly get a feeling that today is not going to be the best. Luckily, we have a delicious solution. And what makes the five dollars worth even more is the fact that they will contribute to so much at Tuscarora. Needless to say, it’s never been easier to support your school.