Marblehead Dollars for Scholars is pleased to announce its third annual gift card fundraiser, “Let’s Eat!”
Established in 1987 by concerned citizens and educators in Marblehead, this local non-profit that provides financial, need-based scholarships to college students will partner with a variety of establishments to raise scholarship funds, while also providing a boost to the local economy.
Throughout the month of March, eight businesses will donate 10% of all online or in-person gift card purchases to Dollars for Scholars. The vendors include: Shubie’s, The Landing, Sea Salt, Maria’s Gourmet, Caffe Italia Trattoria & Bar, The Barrelman, Mino’s Roast Beef and Soall Vietnamese Bistro.
The gift card fundraiser is a way to support local restaurants after several tough years due to the pandemic, and during the winter season when business may be slower. It is also a meaningful way to help local students finance their college education.
Marblehead Dollars for Scholars president Jac Bentley says the need for scholarship money is great, noting that in 2022 the organization awarded 56 scholarships totaling $205,000 to college students who graduated from Marblehead High School or who live in town.
“We are grateful to live in such a supportive community,” said Bentley. “These businesses are generously donating 10% of their March gift card revenue to our organization, and this is absolutely a win-win for them and for our students.”
Organization founder and long-time board member Helaine Hazlett said the two previous gift card fundraisers have been successful, so it was an easy decision to do it again.
“We encourage everyone to support these generous local businesses and to think ahead to upcoming gift giving occasions and buy gift cards during the month of March,” said Hazlett. She suggested stocking up now on presents for birthdays and anniversaries, Passover, Easter and Mother’s Day. And for those who patronize the participating establishments regularly, consider buying a gift card for yourself and paying for your lunch or dinner that way.
Serving the people of Marblehead for 75 years, Shubie’s has employed dozens of high school students. Dougy Shube said he and his family love it when MHS students work for them for multiple years, as they get to witness first-hand their growth and the difference that education makes in their young lives.
“Education has always been a priority for my family, so partnering with Dollars for Scholars is a natural fit,” said Shube. “It’s a great organization that has helped so many students and families over the years and it’s a great resource for the community.”
Shube said gift cards can be used to purchase anything in the store and noted that indoor dining returned in January. “We love seeing everyone back at the foodbar for lunch, so come on in with a friend and catch up over a sandwich, salad or your favorite Shubie’s treat.”
Beautiful harbor-side restaurant The Landing is another local employer of MHS students that is happy to participate in the gift card fundraiser. General Manager Robert Simonelli said that through work, students learn the importance of punctuality, teamwork and discipline, and some of his student employees go on to careers in the hospitality industry.
He supports Marblehead Dollars for Scholars because of its mission to help local students pursue higher education, which increases the possibility of a successful future. “What a boost for a student to receive a scholarship that can ease a financial burden, but more than that, it says we believe in you,” Simonelli explained.
“Let’s Eat!” is the local non-profit’s winter fundraiser and an important source of annual giving income that enables the organization to fulfill its mission. With the cost of college tuition and fees continually rising, the financial burden on families is great and the need for more scholarship dollars is real.
With the spring scholarship season on the near horizon, the Marblehead Dollars for Scholars board of directors hopes community members will support this yearly fundraiser and its participating vendors.
“We have always relied on the incredible generosity of the people of Marblehead who support our organization,” Bentley said. “Together, we can make a difference for the next generation as they pursue their dreams through education.”