VALDOSTA — A local business has partnered with J.L. Newbern Middle School to help fund student education.

Like many schools, the Valdosta City school has a need that far exceeds its budget, said Cynthia White, parent involvement coordinator.

The need for businesses and community members to get involved is paramount to the school and the student’s success.

Mindful Massage and Bodywork owner Pat Santas is heading up a raffle, called Hands on for Education, to raise money for the school.

Through Dec. 17, Santas, White and several other people will sell raffle tickets for $5. On Dec. 18, in the school’s media center at 5:30 p.m., the winners of the raffle will be announced.

The five prizes are worth more than $3,000, Santas said. Prizes include a package of 20 one-hour massages, a 16-inch by 20-inch watercolor, a package of 10 one-hour massages, a package of 10 30-minute massages and a basket of 25 hand-made soaps.

The watercolor will be done by Santas’ daughter and will be painted on a subject of the winner’s choosing.

When her children were in school, Santas said she would often volunteer in the classroom and work with all the students, not just her children.

After opening her business, Santas no longer had the time to volunteer but wanted to stay involved in children’s education. The fundraiser is a way she and others in the community can be involved, she said.

“Kids are not getting what they need,” Santas said. “Kids need the opportunity to use their minds.”

Santas feels that all children should be provided with an opportunity to learn and succeed and that teachers should have the ability to promote that growth.

She estimates that more than 1,000 raffle tickets have been dispersed across Valdosta and are being sold by a variety of people.

One hundred percent of all the proceeds will go to J.L. Newbern Middle School. Santas hopes to raise between $5,000 and $10,000 and to continue to support the school through other fundraisers.

White said the money will be used in a variety of ways at the school, such as providing clothes to children not within the dress code, funding field trips and purchasing Scantron sheets to administer benchmark tests

To purchase raffle tickets or to learn more, please call Cynthia White at 333-8566 ext. 3218 or Michael Santas at 630-0902.

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