Florida, Michigan Flags Raise Money for RHS Foundation


Photo I. Hanewicz

While Michigan beat Florida 41-7, replacing the Florida flag with the Michigan flag was for a good cause: each flag raises money for the Robinson Foundation, which helps with various projects in and around the school.

Isabel Hanewicz, RHStoday Editor-in-Chief

New year, new reign. On Jan 1, the University of Michigan triumphed over the University of Florida in football’s Citrus Bowl, 41-7. On Jan 4, when students returned to Robinson, they were greeted in the courtyard by a Michigan flag, replacing the UF flag which had been up for two months. Football wins, flag follows.

Well, not really.

The spot for the second college flag, which is flown under the US flag, was auctioned off by the month at a Robinson High School Foundation fundraiser earlier this year. November was the month for UF’s flag. January was booked for Michigan.

And, since the spot for the month of December was open- December is a short month, after all, a harder sell- Principal Johnny Bush, a Gator himself, decided to keep the UF flag a little longer.

“It was a complete coincidence,” said Principal Johnny Bush, chuckling. “And trust me, I’m a Florida fan and it kind of broke my heart to see that one up there.”

February is an open month for the flags, with March belonging to Lehigh University, bought by Foundation Benefit Chair, Robinson parent and Lehigh alumna James Baker, and April to Auburn University. By selling the flags at $250/month, the foundation added $1000 to its account.

Headed by Robinson parent Laura Glass, the foundation’s money goes to various improvements throughout the school: they have outfitted 12 classrooms with technology, have given approximately $10,000 in mini grants each year to various teachers and have put water piping for irrigation which runs around the school. Next, the foundation plans on outfitting the auditorium with better acoustics.

“Every five years, the district will match a school $50,000, so if we come up with $50,000, then the district is going to match us $50,000,” said Bush. “We’re in the matching grant year right now, so we’re going to spend about $60,000 on our auditorium…We’re going to redo the entire sound system in there.”

Bush oversees the foundation’s projects, approving the grants himself and helping the foundation navigate the district’s bid system. The bid process lays out how and where schools, and any organization like the foundation that improves schools, can spend their money. After all, the foundation’s board of parents will leave, but the district will still be responsible for maintaining the foundation implements.

As for the flags, the $1000 raised this year will likely go towards next year’s improvements, as the money spent in one school year is from the previous year’s fundraising.

Since its start in 2010, the foundation has raised over $200,000, $70,000 of it during the 2015 Havana Knights Fundraiser in October. It has funded everything from the printing of the newspaper, a mini grant of about $500, to the two electronic marquees which greet visitors on both corners of Mango Ave, around $60,000.

“We’re the only school in the district with two marquees,” said Bush with a smile. “Even Plant only has one.”