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Broken glass fuels focused fundraiser

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Broken glass fuels focused fundraiser

The PTSA had a $10,000 donation goal for the 2019 Build Up Bowie campaign after receiving an initial $3,280 in December for vandalism repairs. 

The PTSA had a $10,000 donation goal for the 2019 Build Up Bowie campaign after receiving an initial $3,280 in December for vandalism repairs. 

Photo by: Cade Spencer, Shikha Patel & Shruti Patel

The PTSA had a $10,000 donation goal for the 2019 Build Up Bowie campaign after receiving an initial $3,280 in December for vandalism repairs. 

Photo by: Cade Spencer, Shikha Patel & Shruti Patel

Photo by: Cade Spencer, Shikha Patel & Shruti Patel

The PTSA had a $10,000 donation goal for the 2019 Build Up Bowie campaign after receiving an initial $3,280 in December for vandalism repairs. 

Cade Spencer, News Editor

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Glass lay broken on the ground as an estimated 75 windows were shattered around the Bowie facility. This vandalism that struck campus on Dec. 13, 2018 caused the school community to call for increased security. In response to such demands, the PTSA decided to focus their Build Up Bowie fundraiser on necessary safety equipment. 

The Build Up Bowie campaign is an annual fundraiser hosted by the PTSA that advocates for specific donations to address needs on the Bowie campus. 

“The main goal of Build Up Bowie is to help fill specific school needs, identified with the help of Bowie Administration, through a no-hassle fundraiser,” Build Up Bowie PTSA chair Leslie Dippel said. “In years past, Build Up Bowie has provided extra tables in the courtyard, water bottle filling stations, and charging centers in the library.”
The PTSA had a $10,000 donation goal for the 2019 Build Up Bowie campaign after receiving an initial $3,280 in December for vandalism repairs. 

“This year the Build Up Bowie campaign is going to support campus safety and security,” principal Mark Robinson said. “[This decision is] largely in response to the vandalism that occurred in December, [because] there was an immediate response from the community to donate to campus safety.”

While this will be only a small part of a larger campus response, it is a way that Bowie families can donate and see an immediate response.”

— Leslie Dippel Build Up Bowie Campaign Chair

After the vandalism, a hashtag titled #BowieStrong was created to promote unity and strength within the community.

“The Bowie Strong Campaign was a big motivation for this year’s fundraising goal,” Dippel said. “We realized that there are campus needs that could use immediate resolution.”

Once the vandalism clean up was complete, Robinson led a full inspection of the campus security system. 

“I think that one thing that was a concern [after the vandalism] were the alarms,” Robinson said. “We did do a check to make sure everything was working, and it has been explained to me that those systems worked the way they are designed to.” 

After his inspection, Robinson explained that the reason the alarms were not activated was their level of sensitivity.

“A lot of the breakage was in hallways and classrooms, [and] those are areas where motion detectors have sensors that work a certain way to allow for some amount of motion,” Robinson said. “We can’t have something that is so sensitive it sets off a bunch of false alarms, [especially] with air conditioners that may make things in the room move when they turn off and on.”

Freshman Kylee Dinwiddie was surprised that such an event would happen at her school and that no alarms would be activated.

“The vandalism was a little shaky because I didn’t expect anything to happen,” Dinwiddie said. “[However], they got it cleaned up real quick and I feel safe at Bowie.”

In addition to the alarm system, Robinson would like to see improvements to campus lighting and security cameras. 

“We had a security audit recently by district staff that identified multiple areas of need on the campus,” Robinson said. “[One of] the main things that we have discussed with the PTSA has been improved lighting because cameras cannot see in the dark.” 

Dippel and the PTSA team said they are excited to be able to help improve the Bowie campus in such a crucial way. 

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“This year, we are raising money to purchase enhanced security and surveillance equipment for Bowie, which recent events have revealed a need for,” Dippel said. “Bowie is a safe campus and these security enhancements will help keep it that way.” 

As Robinson discussed possible uses of the campaign money with the PTSA, he stated that he expects a large portion of the funds to be used for surveillance tools.  

“Looking at supplementing just the amount of cameras we have, I think, is a lot of what we will do with any money raised by Build Up Bowie,” Robinson said. “We know how important [the cameras] were in resolving the vandalism, and [without] those images, the individual involved may not have been arrested.” 

In addition to increasing campus safety, Robinson explained that the Build Up Bowie contributions will also be used to supplement security funds provided in the 2017 bond. 

“By supporting us with purchasing materials that can be installed, disconnected, taken out, and re-installed, the PTSA [will] allow us to maintain these [security] assets despite [future] renovations,” Robinson said. “[Bond funds] aren’t specific and the PTSA wanted this contribution to be a lasting one that won’t be demo’ed in a future bond.”

Video courtesy to KXAN

As the PTSA got closer to reaching their goal, they expressed their extreme appreciation for the overall community support. 

“We are so grateful for everyone’s generosity,” Dippel said. “While this will be only a small part of a larger campus response, it is a way that Bowie families can donate and see an immediate response.”

Despite needed security improvements on campus, Dinwiddie said she has enjoyed a safe and secure freshman year.

“[During the day] I don’t really think about things happening,” Dinwiddie said. “We are in a classroom and the doors are locked.”

Robinson said he is grateful for the eager community response and excited to see new security upgrades operating by fall of this year. 

“I think historically we have seen an increase in the amount of money the PTSA has raised every year, and with the initial response to #BowieStrong, I would expect that we can maintain that support this year,” Robinson said. “I think that there has been a lot of support in the community and we sure appreciate that.”

From Feb. 24 to March 17 the Build Up Bowie campaign collected $8,285. This total will be combined with an initial balance of $3,280 for a grand total of $10,740 for campus security.

“The community can donate by visiting the Bowie PTSA Facebook page and making a donation,” Dippel said. “Some Bowie families are also business owners or [employees] and have made donations in the name of the business, [which] has been a wonderful way for the community to be involved.”

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Broken glass fuels focused fundraiser