Will she make it raising trip money a bottle at a time

RLS English teacher Jennifer Marinace shows where the class is headed during spring break: Washington, D.C. And Trinity Love is determined to get there by selling barbecue sauce. She's only got until Feb. 6 to finish raising $2,300. Will she make it?

Tom Stockwell, St. Helena Star

Trinity Love is a young entrepreneur at Robert Louis Stevenson Middle School who is raising funds for her class trip to Washington, D.C., during spring break. She’s raising the money by selling bottles of barbecue sauce and — bottle by bottle — she said she aims to secure her seat on the plane while simultaneously helping others to go.

This trip to Washington, D.C., has been planned since last year for the eighth-grade English and history classes taught by Jennifer Marinace and Terry Messmer. Marinace said that this trip — which will leave on April 7 and return April 11 — would be the first such trip to Washington, D.C., since she has been teaching at RLS.

But RLS alumni will probably remember that the spring break trip to Washington was once a staple of the RLS experience. Sign-up for this trip was back in September, and the deadline for raising the money — $2,300 per student — has been extended for Love, according to Marinace. Asked how she’s doing, she said on Monday she’d already raised $1,300. But it’s all due by Feb. 6 so her fundraising energies have taken on a new level of urgency.

“I really want to go to the Capitol,” Love said. “And the Smithsonian Museum. And I thought that I could do it by selling this BBQ sauce.” She had brought a bottle of the sauce and a flier about its manufacturer with her.

The sauce is marketed by Cloverleaf Ranch Summer Camp, and it retails on the campground’s website for $5 per bottle. So, considering the goals she has laid out, that’s a lot of barbecue sauce that Love needs to sell. But the motivation to sell it isn’t just for her. She said it’s for her entire class.

“There are some kids in the class who want to go, but couldn’t afford the cost. So I’m hoping I can sell enough so there will be money over and above what is needed for me to go. I want to share it with the class so others can come, too.”

The trip, according to Marinace, will be purely educational for the eighth-grade classes. The itinerary includes a side trip to Williamsburg, the Jamestown settlement, Alexandria, George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon, the Holocaust Museum, the WWII Memorial, the Washington Monument, Arlington Cemetery, the Iwo Jima Memorial, the Capitol grounds, the National Archives, the Lincoln, Korean War and Vietnam memorials, the White House, Ford’s Theatre and the Smithsonian Museum.

That’s quite a schedule for only five days, but, according to Marinace, it’s a perfect trip for eighth-graders who are studying the history of our nation and reading about people who founded our country. The planned trip includes round-trip transportation, meals, admissions fees, hotel accommodations, chaperones, and accident and health insurance. It will correspond to online educational resources, with field journals for each student.

No wonder Trinity Love is primed and ready to go. “I want to see the places we’re studying,” she said. “And I want our class to do it all together.”

To help the students get to Washington, D.C., or to buy some barbecue sauce, contact Trinity’s mother, Carol Love, at 944-2033.



Tom Stockwell is currently a staff writer for the St. Helena Star. He is an author of fiction and non-fiction books and has been a working journalist for a variety of technical publications as well as a consultant for numerous wineries in the Napa Valley.

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