Make the McKenzie Connection!

Creativity showcased at annual marketplace

Sales of students’ creations contribute to scholarships

FINN ROCK: A year’s worth of work on entrepreneurship and marketing was not only on display - but also for sale last Thursday night. At booths around the gym, McKenzie Community School students had a chance to cinch sales of products ranging from homemade jerky to crocheted headbands as part of the Market Night event.

At his “Ecodrift” booth, shoppers found hand-crafted driftwood trees that creator Will Meister made from a “very local” source - wood straight from the McKenzie River that had washed up right in front of his house.

Across the showroom floor, Merry Mitchell’s “Precious Pebbles” table sparkled with wire-wrapped jewelry. Starting with necklaces, she expanded her inventory during the 2024 academic year to include bracelets and rings, all tightly wrapped with silver wire.

At the same time, other buyers were making purchases of original paintings, custom T-shirts, picture frames, and McKenzie-themed stickers.

In the summer of 2016, Corey Culp decided to take a more project-based approach to his Entrepreneurship and Marketing classes. Noting he wasn’t satisfied with the previous attempts to create mock businesses. He felt it would be best if they created an actual business with a real product.

This concept ended up being a success when launched for the 2016-17 school year.

The process includes creating a product and supporting business over the school year in both the Entrepreneurship and Marketing classes. An original idea and prototype are developed during the first semester in the Entrepreneurship class. Next, marketing and advertising plans are created during the second semester in the Marketing class.

After developing a detailed business plan, students produce items to sell at the Market Night, near the end of the second semester

All profits earned at Market Night are placed in a scholarship fund for each participant, and students receive their scholarship upon graduating from McKenzie River Community School.

Sales for scholarship from the past years include 2017’s $925, $1,190 in 2018, 2019’s $1,200, and sales of $1,233 in 2022. Judging by the amount of activity at this year’s event, it appeared that upward growth trend was likely to continue. And it did, generating a record $2,400 for 2024.

 

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