1St Week Of School, Fundraiser Already!

Lounge By Texas_Rose Updated 30 Aug 2009 , 3:52am by Doug

Texas_Rose Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 6:48pm
post #1 of 22

Ugh! Yesterday my daughter brought home a fundraiser packet already. She's learning though...she looked through it and said, "Mom, nobody we know would ever buy these frozen cakes from me, just throw it out."

I can understand the push for fundraising in a private or charter school, but I think it's overdone in the public school my daughter goes to. I'm not selling cookie dough, frozen desserts, gift wrap, or magazines. I send the things they ask for at the school fair, and if they're not smart enough to charge enough for them (they sold my decorated sugar cookies for a quarter each) that's their loss.

21 replies
Doug Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 7:02pm
post #2 of 22

sadly, as a teacher with experience both public and parochial/private ---

fundraising is a fact of life for all.

to wit:

this year as in all my past years at current school, I'm doing the newspaper -- it's a class.
cost to print 9 issues = $3,000
amount given by school/district (remember it's a class) = $0 (we're paying your salary and that's it)

I'm also helping the athletic dept with their concession stands -- why -- because they too, at least in my district get $0. The attitude being, we built the gym/field/stadium and pay the utilities and do the maintenance (slowly!) what more do you need? so they too have to raise all the money to buy equipment, etc.

we've even been told that we may have to buy most and possibly all of our own photocopy paper this year.

this on top of salaries frozen for two years and benefits reduced or changed to I have to pay out-of-pocket myself to get the insurance (like dental, eye, etc.)

with all the things we are MANDATED to do by the government -- almost all of it unfunded mandates (do it but we won't help you pay for doing it!) -- it's no wonder school's are doing fundraisers.

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Texas_Rose Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 7:14pm
post #3 of 22

Wow! I should ask my kids' teachers if the school is providing their photocopy paper, otherwise I'll get them some.

The thing about our fundraisers is that they're done by the PTA and they're not for things that the school needs, but things that the soccer moms think that the kids would benefit by having...for example they send the first graders to Sea World every year...they're gone 5 hours from the school, transportation takes 1 hour each way, and they eat lunch there...so they're paying $40 for the kids to spend 2 1/2 hours really looking at things there. That's a waste of money, to me. Let's buy things that the school needs and I'll get on board with the whole thing. I always bring the things the teachers ask for, ziplock bags, clorox wipes, art supplies, etc...I just work it into my grocery budget for that week.

Our teachers also send out a wish list for their Christmas and birthday gifts. When Val was in kinder, her teacher wanted gift cards for Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Macy's, James Avery, and day spas. For the record, we're not rich...my husband is a security guard and I'm a homemaker. I was really intimidated by her list.

BeeBoos-8599_ Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 7:54pm
post #4 of 22

My girls are just starting the public school system this year. I have one in KG and one in Pre-school there. I have sworn for years that the minute I see a fund raising packet I will simply write a check and send the packet back. I dont think kids should have to be out there trying to earn money for school. They should just have to worry about learining as much as they can and being kids. I do think that schools could save alot of money by cutting out deserts at lunch and going paperless. I hate hearing that my daughter (who eats school lunches) got Ice cream or cookies for desert. You and I know darn well that most kids will eat those things first and in most cases do not touch what ever the rest of the lunch consists of.

Doug Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 8:09pm
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

for example they send the first graders to Sea World every year...




allow a little devil's advocacy here please:

and do you consider it necessary to take your children to Sea World on your own? do the other parents of the school?

I think back to my kindergarten years (creak!) -- I never would have ridden a real passenger train (not one of those fake goes to no where tourist ones) if it hadn't been for the teacher with several mothers (mine was one of them) helping by packing us on all at the depot in our town and riding to the next two 20 miles away.

I taught high school in NYC for 20 years and got a kick out of all the Statue of Liberty & Broadway theatre "virgins" for whom, going with me was their first experience -- the parents never took them as children!

School has to be --- but unfortunately rarely is anymore due to over emphasis on testing -- a cultural experience as well. and seeing a fish displayed on a computer monitor is no substitute for the real deal. And sadly, experiences such as Sea World tend to be clustered in major cities.

I was lucky. My mom dragged me to Brookfield Zoo every year (that was for her) and then I dragged her off to the museums -- Natural History and Science & Industry in Chicago, and to plays and to concerts and to....and for us that was a 150 mile trip.

Yes -- it is a long trip and so little time there but, it's better than nothing at all.

Learning is best when it's first hand experiential, not virtual through films and computers and other media.

Also, my elementary school experience is being vindicated. All kinds of research is being done on the best learning styles for early elementary. And, well knock me over with a feather, but how I experienced early elem was the better, if not best way.

Yes, recess IS important and should be a part of every day.
Yes, field trips ARE important and should be done as much as financially possible -- they are actually multi-modal learning bonanzas (meaning the kids are learning a multitude of things in multiple ways all at the same time)
Yes, PLAY is one of the best ways little children learn -- not rote, note worksheets, not textbooks -- play!

Obviously, on this one I side with taking that kid to see the wonders of the deep (can I have a pet sting ray!?)

-----

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

Our teachers also send out a wish list for their Christmas and birthday gifts. When Val was in kinder, her teacher wanted gift cards for Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Macy's, James Avery, and day spas. For the record, we're not rich...my husband is a security guard and I'm a homemaker. I was really intimidated by her list.




one comment: CRASS! how unimaginably rude and selfish. A wish list of presents for the classroom ok (top of my list -- a starboard!). For self -- absolutely NOT.

Texas_Rose Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 8:10pm
post #6 of 22

My kids get fruit with lunch. No cookies or sweets like that, just fresh or canned fruit depending on what's available. Sophia says that she gets canned peaches every day, but since canned fruit all kind of tastes the same and she's never had canned pears before, I suspect they're alternating fruits and she just can't tell.

Anyhow, Bee-boos, just wait until they do the fundraisers...they don't just send home the packet, they do a presentation to the kids. There were three times in kinder when my daughter came home with a list of "prizes" for selling things and showed me what her school said she was getting (yeah, if I sell 2 tons of cookie dough). When I told her she wasn't getting all that stuff, she acted like I was the one doing something wrong to her. Mean Mommy strikes again. Last year we actually sold cookie dough (like good little *****es) and half the tubs were opened with spoon marks in them. I ended up having to refund money out of my own pocket to angry relatives who thought we had been sampling it before we delivered it. And the school and the fundraising company each said the other should give me a refund and no one did. And the prize my daughter got for selling the cookie dough was a "6 foot long throwing toy" which was a long, very narrow trash bag that was open at both ends. The idea was, you put a rubber band at one end, blow up the other end and put a rubber band (not included) on the other end, and then the kid has this blown-up plastic bag to play with for five minutes until it springs a leak.

Doug Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 8:16pm
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeBoos-8599_

My girls are just starting the public school system this year. I have one in KG and one in Pre-school there. I have sworn for years that the minute I see a fund raising packet I will simply write a check and send the packet back. I dont think kids should have to be out there trying to earn money for school. They should just have to worry about learining as much as they can and being kids. I do think that schools could save alot of money by cutting out deserts at lunch and going paperless. I hate hearing that my daughter (who eats school lunches) got Ice cream or cookies for desert. You and I know darn well that most kids will eat those things first and in most cases do not touch what ever the rest of the lunch consists of.




sadly, most of that "food" money is straight of federal gov. and can only be used for that and only that -- no diversion or savings possible.

and don't even get me started on: a) poor quality of food and b) the WASTEFULNESS of the students!

----

as for paperless -- priced a Kendle or Sony Reader lately? at about $25/case of paper just buying one of those is about the paper I use in FOUR years (yes frugal!). And I'd need one of those ebooks for every student!
And if we upgrade to laptop --- well....

Where we MIGHT (big might) would be IF (monstrous IF) we did away with textbooks (at over $60/each!!! x every different subject) and the people who published them made them available at a VERY reasonable price (gotta better chance of loosing weight by sleeping it off!)

The costs of running a schools are staggering.

Texas_Rose Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 8:17pm
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug

and do you consider it necessary to take your children to Sea World on your own? do the other parents of the school?




I do, actually...Sea World, the zoo, the beach, Texas State Aquarium, Inflatable Wonderland, the art museum, the natural science museum, children's plays, etc... Not Fiesta TX because I'm too fat to ride roller coasters and DH has a heart condition that prevents him from getting on them and not the waterpark yet because Sophie's too young.

Every year when we get our tax refund I have a certain amount alloted as a fun budget. We already blew the fun budget this year and all that's left is a trip to the dollar movies every other weekend icon_biggrin.gif

But I don't know what the other parents do, not all of them. So I guess it was good for the other kids. To me it was just sad to spend that much and then only go for a couple of hours. I hate wasting money icon_biggrin.gif

Doug Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 8:20pm
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

To me it was just sad to spend that much and then only go for a couple of hours. I hate wasting money icon_biggrin.gif




I so agree....but that's the trade off to being a country caker vs a city caker.

(we could only do Chi-town because we stayed at our city mouse friends house in exchange for them staying at our country mouse house! -- a week each way!)

BeeBoos-8599_ Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 9:13pm
post #10 of 22

Doug, I did not mean to stop using text books. I just want them to be able to email me the 20 notifications I get in a week. As for the lunches, if they have to use the money for the food them put it into better food not ice cream and cookies.
Just so you know, I am not one to complain if I do not have a solution. I have volunteered to work in both classes and will do anything I can to support the school. We save the box tops, campbells lables and tyson lables, I give of my time and if there is any left I give of my money. I just want it put the best use possible.
I praise anyone who teaches and really want my girls to have a posative learning experience. I hated school and never went to college because of what a bad experience I had. I don't want that for my girls.

Doug Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 9:28pm
post #11 of 22

no one is "raggin' on" you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeBoos-8599_

Doug, I did not mean to stop using text books. I just want them to be able to email me the 20 notifications I get in a week.


great if every family has a computer with internet access. in my county only about 50% do. I too would love to do it all email and internet, but .....even with paper and HS students -- why bother it won't make it home anyway! (and mail -- well, my district won't even mail out report cards -- too expensive!) and the textbook publishing industry is one big RACKET! (one of my grrrrs about education!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeBoos-8599_

As for the lunches, if they have to use the money for the food them put it into better food not ice cream and cookies.



could we start with just "edible" for all of it? I look at what they call "food" and gag! breakfast > 1 slice of processed cheese on a piece of bread and heated to melt it! mystery meat in a suspicious sauce. what is supposed to be rice but looks like lice! sadly the cookies and the ice creams are often the only truly edible stuff (thank you modern food factory science! booo hisssss)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeBoos-8599_


Just so you know, I am not one to complain if I do not have a solution. I have volunteered to work in both classes and will do anything I can to support the school. We save the box tops, campbells lables and tyson lables, I give of my time and if there is any left I give of my money. I just want it put the best use possible.


thumbs_up.gif APPLAUSE! and so does every teacher too! We whine (sans cheese) just as loud or louder, as long or longer as you do! But, not being allowed to have any real decision making power....we go unheard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeBoos-8599_

I praise anyone who teaches and really want my girls to have a posative learning experience. I hated school and never went to college because of what a bad experience I had. I don't want that for my girls.


Perfectly OK you hated school. Not everyone is cut out to be a "scholar." Some are better served in other ways and with other goals in mind, like vocational education. One of the biggest mistakes I believe we are making is saying ALL children must be college material! Some would be better in trade school. After all, we need trades people just as much or more than we need MBAs, etc.

As for you, you went to the college of life, the school of hard knocks and learned well I bet and now, like every good parent, you want so much better for you girls and are going to see they get it. Keep up the fight -- we need parents like you!

Texas_Rose Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 9:34pm
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug


Quote:
Originally Posted by BeeBoos-8599_

As for the lunches, if they have to use the money for the food them put it into better food not ice cream and cookies.


could we start with just "edible" for all of it? I look at what they call "food" and gag! breakfast > 1 slice of processed cheese on a piece of bread and heated to melt it! mystery meat in a suspicious sauce. what is supposed to be rice but looks like lice! sadly the cookies and the ice creams are often the only truly edible stuff (thank you modern food factory science! booo hisssss)




Wow...I'll have to tell my kids they have it good here...the food looks like food and they try hard to make it appealing...for example this week they had blueberry muffins, yogurt and cinnamon toast, waffle sticks with syrup (oh Sophia loves syrup icon_biggrin.gif), etc...They get fruit juice and milk with breakfast, plus fruit of some kind, and then for lunch they get the entree and three choices of a side, usually a veggie and two kinds of fruit. And beacuse we're poor folks icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif they get it for free.

It's funny though, Val didn't appreciate my cooking until she started eating school lunch. After that she started praising every meal. It's nice to be appreciated, even if it's just in a "you're better than the school cafeteria" kind of way.

Doug Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 9:42pm
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

Wow...I'll have to tell my kids they have it good here...the food looks like food and they try hard to make it appealing...for example this week they had blueberry muffins, yogurt and cinnamon toast, waffle sticks with syrup (oh Sophia loves syrup icon_biggrin.gif), etc...They get fruit juice and milk with breakfast, plus fruit of some kind, and then for lunch they get the entree and three choices of a side, usually a veggie and two kinds of fruit. And beacuse we're poor folks icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif they get it for free.

It's funny though, Val didn't appreciate my cooking until she started eating school lunch. After that she started praising every meal. It's nice to be appreciated, even if it's just in a "you're better than the school cafeteria" kind of way.




we have some of that too, but its usually all factory made, high fat, high salt. Every Friday they serve a "Super donut" for breakfast. Supposedly a very high nutrition item -- that is if high nutrition is almost 40% of fat for the day, ditto to sodium and tons of sugar -- it is SO greasy!

Gotta give the cafeteria ladies their due, they try very hard to make what they have to work with as appetizing as possible. But you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear as the saying goes.

indydebi Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 10:14pm
post #14 of 22

I've had kids in public schools for the last 28 years (the handicap of having your kids 7 years apart!). I have 2 years to go and I am DONE! Years ago, my kids knew they were not allowed to participate in fundraisers. I'm not buyin $25 worth of junk wrapping paper (that I'll never use) so they can "earn" a 10 cent eraser.

School fundraisers, girl scout cookies, etal .... usually it's the parents who end up selling the stuff at work and bugging relatives with it. I just refused to play.

diane Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 11:20pm
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

Ugh! Yesterday my daughter brought home a fundraiser packet already. She's learning though...she looked through it and said, "Mom, nobody we know would ever buy these frozen cakes from me, just throw it out."

how funny!!!! icon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

I can understand the push for fundraising in a private or charter school, but I think it's overdone in the public school my daughter goes to. I'm not selling cookie dough, frozen desserts, gift wrap, or magazines. I send the things they ask for at the school fair, and if they're not smart enough to charge enough for them (they sold my decorated sugar cookies for a quarter each) that's their loss.




unfortunately, the way the economy is going, even public schools have to resort to fundraisers! icon_cool.gif

Deb_ Posted 29 Aug 2009 , 11:31pm
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose



Our teachers also send out a wish list for their Christmas and birthday gifts. When Val was in kinder, her teacher wanted gift cards for Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Macy's, James Avery, and day spas. For the record, we're not rich...my husband is a security guard and I'm a homemaker. I was really intimidated by her list.




icon_eek.gificon_eek.gificon_eek.gif Oh, I SO would have forwarded that list to the school's Principal and the Superintendent of Schools..........oh most definitely. That's just wrong on so many levels.

Shelle_75 Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 1:24am
post #17 of 22

We don't participate in the school fundraisers, either. They jack the kids up over junk prizes and never really specify where the profits go.

My eight year old son is a Cub Scout, and we do participate in the popcorn sales and other fundraisers for that, and yes, he is the one that does most of the legwork, and I am very proud of him for it. The money from the popcorn he sells gets him and his fellow Cubs to campouts and other Scouting activities.

We also do the candy bar sales for his baseball team each spring, mostly buying and eating the damn things ourselves!

KKC Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 1:44am
post #18 of 22

They've already started at my son's school but its selling pizza to the kids. At my son's school last year, they forced him to sell chocolates. First they sent a letter home and told us to check yes or no for our child to participate in the fundraiser..of course I checked no and they sent the box of chocolates home anyway. So I sent the chocolates back and asked the principal why would you send a note home asking for permission if you were going to make him sell anyway...they said its "mandatory" icon_confused.gif Um, excuse me, but my child goes to school to get an education not to sell candy.

mkolmar Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 2:38am
post #19 of 22

We get fundraiser packets a few times throughout the year. I never do them. I ask a few people (family) if they'd like to donate money and then I cut the school just one check. The staff actually prefers it this way also at the school, they hate fundraisers also.
I love my kids school and they are pretty smart about how everything is done. One grade recycles pop cans so they can earn money. The school takes in empty ink cartrages and a few other items like that.
We cut Campbells labels and box tops. Last year the elementary made just under $600 just from cutting those labels and box tops.
They do one fundraiser all year round that we always do though and that's food for the needy families in the area. At Christmas each class adopts a child in need in the community and make sure that they have Christmas presents under the tree. There is also the St.Jude fundraiser.

The schools budget has tightened even more this year. Teachers are having to buy more supplies. I hate the thought of that.
I understand the need for fundraisers, but ugggg....they are constant.

costumeczar Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 2:58am
post #20 of 22

I once called one of the companies that was handling the fundraiser for my daughter's school and asked them what percentage of the profits actually went to the school. After hemming and hawing, they told me what percentage it was, and it was pretty low. I figured out how much they "expected" my daughter to sell, wrote a check for the percentage the school would actually have received and left it at that.

The next year, I suggested to the PTA that they do a general fundraiser that would directly solicit donations from the parents, without any selling. They started doing that, and presented it as the "Cougar Fund" (school mascot is a cougar.) They said there'd be no fundraisers from the PTA at all, and they would be able to fund all of the PTA programs if each family contributed a suggested amount of $$ (I don't remember what it was, maybe $25?) Families that could contribute more could do that, and since it was a donation to the PTA it was fully tax-deductible, which fundraisers aren't. I've noticed that a bunch of schools around here are now doing that instead of fundraisers, so I think that everyone prefers that kind of system to the fundraisers. Some families can't afford to contribute much, but since every bit helps it adds up.

It doesn't stop everything, some school clubs still do fundraising, but the PTA isn't doing it all the time.

What bothers me about the whole thing is the PTA isn't supposed to be a fundraising group in the first place, but because of the lousy state of school funding it ends up being that way. Just pay the teachers a decent salary and give them the supplies they need, for pete's sake!

And to the teachers who are asking for spa gift cards? Here's your case of copy paper for your classroom.

indydebi Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 3:09am
post #21 of 22

If anyone is on the fundraising committee and is looking for one, I have a friend who runs a fundraising company. Your orgz makes 40% right off of the top. Excellent product. (Even *I* would buy it!)

(I prefer a direct email, or) PM me if you want his info.

Doug Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 3:52am
post #22 of 22

what follows responds to multiple individual's comment:

-----------------

shhhhhhh........

here's a nifty little "fun"d raiser that any school club (tho yearbook or newspaper makes most sense) can do.

for major holidays -- like Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day (a biggie for the HS set) ---

take "fun photos" -- up to 4 people in the pic (at Halloween with ghoul, ghost or witch; Christmas with Santa or stuffed reindeer or elf and can have personalized message; Valentine's Day all hearts and a big stuffed teddy bear) ---

Have 4x6 prints made at Sam's Club (or similar)

Charge $5 a print. (The HS set gladly pays it! -- esp. at Valentine's Day and Christmas)

Cost: 17 cents (as of now at Sam's Club)

my journalism classes love doing it -- so easy, so profitable.

----

IF school allows it (and this is fast becoming a thing of the past) selling candy AFTER school directly to students makes big bucks fast. Many schools now ban this or only allow via vending machines that have timers to prevent sales before lunches are over. Can easily pull in $30 profit a day (x180 days = over $5000! <- that's a musical!)

----

And time you can sell concessions DO IT --

example hot dogs, bun and paper holder = as little as 15 cent cost and can sell for $1. then add chili = 50 cents more for about 10 cents cost or cheese (ditto) or both (double ditto) --- so full blown chili cheese dog: 35 cents cost, sell for $2!

and popcorn is a gold mine!

pizza is nice but low profit (only a bit over 100% markup at best; I get it for cost 80 cents, sell $1.75/slice and will have to go to $2/slice shortly!)

nachos are good and work well to sell along with the hot dogs as cheese and chili works on both. but profit no where near as good as popcorn.

Sodas are ok -- get them at WalMart for $5.50 / 24 count case (2 - 12 packs) -- 23 cents each sell for $1.

Nestle's water, 1/2 liter, 30 pack case: $3.88 at Sam's Club - cost 13 cents each, sell for $1.

candy is the PITs -- most bars are now at the 49 cents each mark and can only sell for $1 at most. Barely a 50% markup.

prepackaged chips same as candy -- 25 cents cost; sell for 50 cents.

and hot cocoa is another high profit item.

all of these are much easier and less problems with sanitary and health issues than the "plate sale" (tho' those can rake in the bucks too!)

get any of the food donated then it's all profit!

the athletic department at my school HAS to do concessions just to be able to buy equipment

----

while I "hear ya" on fundraising overkill (and yes some of that stuff if pretty shlocky) --

clubs and such have to do it. I have yet to advise a drama club that pulled in enough on tickets (forced to keep prices artificially low so as to keep "the people" happy!) to pay the cost of production, so fundraising a must. Thank heavens for the ability to sell concessions at plays.

Even with the newspaper & yearbook where we can sell ads and the books themselves, the cost is always greater than the revenue.

----

and where does the money go?

club or athletics -- right back into that activity. Some may know this, but for an evening of basketball at HS level (2 - jv & 2 var games) the cost for the referees will be $600 or more (at $75/ref/game -- and you need 8 refs to cover the night!)

some of you know -- priced a band uniform lately -- granted they can last up to 10 years and well they should at $500 or more (even up to $1,000) PER uniform.

---

as for PTA funds, etc.

most goes right into the classrooms via teacher grants for supplies

my HS's PTA gives out 2 scholarships a year and funds special projects like paying for costume rental for a show, or a new kiln for the art department or other big ticket items the district will "wait list until there are funds" to death!

-------

perhaps we should make every family supply all the child's materials -- but that won't work due to some not able to afford and the school's not having the money -- so fundraising covers the slack

----

yes pay a true salary and supply all we need...

ooops -- but where will the money come from ?

oh yeah, TAXES -- hmmm...and who want's those raised?

and so back to fundraising -- just another TAX in a different guise.

-----

as a teacher I only do the kinds of fundraisers I feel comfortable doing like concessions, candy and photos -- where it is all group effort and sale and not door-to-door sales person (girl scouts selling tagalongs, Do-Si-Dos, and thin mints are the only individual sales I want to see!)

--------

fundraising is as ancient as the hills, from schools to churches to political campaigns (so much for that federal check off for campaign contributions making politicians obsolete)

-----

used to be poster in one fellow teacher's class:

It will be a great day for education when the military has to hold a bake sale to buy a weapon and school's get all the money they need.

That is NOT to say our military should not be funded....

but to question ---

and just WHAT are our national priorities?

the old: put your money where your mouth is .... and .... where's you spends your money tells me what you value.

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