Students have success in mind

The goal of a student-run business is to put on a flag football game pitting students vs. faculty members on May 21 at 7 p.m.

The goal of a student-run business is to put on a flag football game pitting students vs. faculty members on May 21 at 7 p.m.

May 14, 2004|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - A new company formed in Greencastle in February expects to return a 100 percent dividend to its shareholders later this month.

Wild Card Productions also projects that it will generate enough profit to give a sizable contribution to the Free and the Brave Foundation, a charity that sends care packages and phone cards to American troops stationed overseas.

Wild Card Productions is run entirely by students as part of the Junior Achievement Economics class taught by Jeff Slatoff at Greencastle-Antrim High School.


The goal of the business is to put on a flag football game pitting students vs. faculty members on May 21 at 7 p.m. at the high school.

The students are discovering how much work goes into putting on such an event. Everything from finding the cheapest place to purchase food for the concession stand to advertising the game at school and in the community to hiring the best staff for each job had to be carefully pre-planned.

Junior Grant Oberholzer, vice-president of advertising, said the class "brainstormed for a week, we made backup plans, and we tried to think of everything that could go wrong."

Oberholzer said he has made and edited short films about snowboarding and skateboarding outside of school. He and six other students advertised for players to sign up for the teams, made commercials and "got people excited."

Posters, fliers and T-shirts have been made.

Co-presidents Natasha Reeder and Casey Seitz were elected by the class. Both come well-prepared - they attended Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week last summer in York, where they served as chief executive officers of student-run companies.

Having two presidents "rounded out the company," said Reeder, who is also vice-president of the student council.

Megan Tracey, a senior, serves as their executive assistant. She does "anything they need help with - typing, checking on things - so neither president is overwhelmed," she said.

Tracey, whose family runs an orchard, said she "sees what they have to endure" to run a business.

Sophomore Kayla Butz is vice-president of sales. She and her staff oversee ticket design and purchases for the concession stand. They also keep track of all the ticket money.

"I make sure people are selling tickets," she said.

As vice-president of Human Resources, junior Aaron Barkdoll reviewed students' rsums and assigned people to various tasks with Slatoff's help.

While the students do all the work themselves, "Mr. Slatoff points us in the right direction," Barkdoll said.

While only about 200 tickets to the game had been sold by Tuesday, the business expects to sell about 800.

"Students have other financial commitments right now," as the prom is this weekend, Oberholzer said.

The officers expect most of the ticket sales to happen in the few days before the game and at the gate.

The class has spent 21/2 months finding stockholders, organizing the company, planning duties and purchases, and advertising.

Oberholzer said Wild Card Productions stock sold for $2 per share to students, parents, friends and grandparents. They sold about 100 shares, giving them $200 start-up money.

Officers are paid a salary; other workers get 52 cents per hour plus a commission on ticket sales.

Customer Service representative Sara Hollinshead of First National Bank of Greencastle, who helped the students open a checking account for the business, said she was "very impressed with their maturity, their professionalism and their business plan.

"This group is ready for bigger ventures," she said.

Randall Ackerman, senior account representative for Dame Broadcasting in Chambersburg, said he brainstormed with the students about ideas for commercials.

Five students chosen by the class to voice the commercials recorded the ads at the Dame Broadcasting studio.

"These students are the cream of the crop," he said. "They were prepared with their script, and they recorded two 60-second commercials in half an hour."

One ad was aimed at teens for radio station WILD 96.7, a hip hop station; the other was targeted to the 25- to 50-year-old market for WCHA, WHAG, MIX 95.1 and WQCM 94.3, Ackerman said.

The ads will run Sunday through the day of the game.

The students said they have learned how much work goes into running even a small business.

Reeder said she had seen other economics class projects in previous years.

"You see the finished product, and you think it was easy, but now we realize a lot of hard work went into the preparation," he said.

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