OZONE PARK — Even though she’s just in seventh grade, Naomi Lopez knows that to be successful, a good salesperson should have a sales pitch ready, as well as a battle plan to close the deal.
“I think I might go to my relatives first. Then from my relatives, they could tell the people they know and I can sell more that way,” she said.
Lopez, a student at St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy, is getting ready to sell subscriptions of The Tablet for the Second Annual COVID Relief Fundraiser for Catholic Schools — an endeavor that will generate money for schools to help them as they continue to recover financially from the pandemic.
“I’m excited to try and help our school earn money. But I’m a bit nervous about what I’m going to do with it,” she admitted.
Last year’s fundraiser generated $40,000 for the participating schools — thanks in no small part to the competition aspect of it.
The student selling the most subscriptions will win a grand prize of $3,000. The second-place student will receive $2,000 and the third-place winner will be awarded $1,000. Money is also awarded to schools for each subscription sold over a certain number.
The contest is sponsored by DeSales Media Group, the ministry that produces The Tablet, Currents News on NET-TV and serves as the digital and technology arm of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Nearly 40 schools are participating in the fundraiser, which started Monday, March 21, and ends Friday, April 29. This year, for the first time, five high schools are taking part.
At St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy, they’re ready for another good showing. Last year, eight-grader Jias Jordan took second place honors.
“Our students are very excited,” Principal Jeanne Shannon said.
To help get the students’ competitive juices flowing, the academy is sweetening the pot. The class selling the most subscriptions will be treated to a pizza party. In addition, the student who sells the largest number will get a monetary bonus from the academy.
Shannon sees the contest as a way for her academy’s 200 students to give back, adding: “The Tablet and DeSales Media have been really good to our school over the years.
“They have provided iPads for all of the children in our building,” she said. “And I do plan to make the children aware of the fact that DeSales has been very helpful to us.”
Jacqueline Merckling, the art teacher at St. Elizabeth Catholic Academy, subscribes to The Tablet and wants to help grow the newspaper’s readership.
“It’s a great paper with all sorts of interesting stories,” she said. “And the newspaper helps the kids to see that there are people who don’t have as much as we do.”
Eighth-grader Allyana Marrero is eager to get out there and sell a lot of subscriptions.
“I want to win the contest because you can set an example for other people who are younger, so they can be inspired,” she said. “That could get other people involved and our school can sell more newspapers and win more.”