The Cartersville City School District’s school nutrition department is conducting a Hurricane Rolls for Hurricane Relief fundraiser to help Bartram Trail High School in St. Johns, Florida — which played Cartersville High’s football team in an ESPN-televised game in August — recover from damage caused last month by Hurricane Irma.
Nutrition department employees at all four Cartersville schools will be baking school-made yeast rolls, cinnamon rolls and cheese rolls and pre-selling them through Friday for $10 a dozen in hopes of raising $5,000 for the high school, which is part of the St. Johns County School District in St. Augustine.
“We would like to support Bartram Trail High School,” School Nutrition Director Tracey Morris said. “Cartersville High School played Bartram Trail during the featured ESPN high school game. Bartram Trail’s team and their fans visited Cartersville for that event. We understand the Bartram Trail area was hit very hard.”
Due to Hurricane Irma, Cartersville school employees missed two days of work that needed to be made up, Morris said, so they will help themselves and victims of the hurricane by baking rolls to sell as a fundraiser.
“School-made rolls are one of our signature items,” she said. “We normally have a sale during Thanksgiving. This year with all of the construction at Cartersville Primary School, we will not be having our normal Thanksgiving meal or the sale.”
Instead, the school cafeterias will be filling pre-sold orders that customers will pick up at a designated time and place, and the money made from the sale will be sent to the ASSIST program at the St. Johns County central office, she added.
As a pre-sale kickoff, Georgia Bone and Joint Surgeons in Cartersville ordered 20 dozen cinnamon, cheddar and jalapeno cheddar rolls, and nutrition department employees delivered them to Dr. Andrew Riddle’s office Friday.
“They were absolutely delicious,” Employer Liaison Abby Hooper said. “Fresh, melt-in-your-mouth kind of good.”
Hooper said her personal favorite was the cinnamon roll, but “a lot of people commented on how good and spicy the jalapeno cheddar [rolls] were.”
She added the office had “plenty to go around” and ended up sharing the leftovers with neighboring businesses and the Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter.
Hooper said Riddle, the orthopedic physician for the Purple Hurricanes, heard about the fundraiser and “wanted to help support it.”
“We’re very proud to be in a community with such a big heart,” she said. “The thought of the school chefs and staff members getting together to make this whole event happen is very touching. It’s a picture of what community really is — helping those in need and supporting each other in their endeavors to do so. We’re happy to be a part of it.”
Bartram Trail Principal Chris Phelps said having Cartersville do a fundraiser for his school is “pretty cool.”
“[It’s] representative of the great hospitality we received on our trip to Cartersville High School,” he said. “Thanks to the Cartersville HS family for thinking of us.”
The 2,490-student school sustained a fair amount of damage from the storm and was forced to close its doors from Sept. 8-15.
“We lost three trees that have been in our courtyard for 17 years,” Phelps said. “Three light poles were knocked down. We had some water damage in some of our classrooms. Our gym floor looks like it has water damage from the large amount of rainfall we have received in the last two months.”
The principal said the school system has learned from the past in terms of recovering from natural disasters.
“We have faculty, staff and students who have felt loss from the hurricane,” he said. “The school district has learned from our experience with Hurricane Matthew last year to centralize our resources for the families in need.”
The order form for the sale is available on the school district website or in the school nutrition manager’s office at each school.