Swap-It Tradition Undergoes Changes
by Rajiv Ram on Friday, October 25th, 2013
This week, students, parents, and faculty gathered in the Hockey Rink of the ACC to kick off Milton’s 63rd annual Swap-It. A collection of donations ranging from clothes to old TVs, the Swap-It sale raises money to support the development of the K-8 curriculum and faculty.
The event began back when the school had a dress code, when Swap-It gave students the opportunity to swap school uniforms. Now, the sale has expanded to include a wide variety of items. This change has created paths that cross through boundaries of the Milton community. Milton parents now utilize this event to purge their houses, while students take pleasure in visiting the sale together to buy the most ridiculous outfit they can find for the dance in wake of the event.
A few months ago, the parents of the Lower School and volunteers for Swap-It realized that the event was a lot of work and needed to be changed to better meet Milton’s fundraising goals. The question, “Should we keep it?” arose, bringing about fervent rumors within the community of Swap-It’s demise. However, many strongly wished that this long tradition would not be done away with. So the faculty and parents worked to keep its legacy, hoping to continue the sale’s funding of the K-8 division’s educational resources and campus developments, such as the updates of Greenleaf Circle playground, Thacher Auditorium, and student lounge furniture.
Consequentially, this year the Swap-It experience differs from years past, as the parents and faculty members in charge of this event have chosen to close it to the public. In the past, the large crowds were difficult to manage. Marshall Carter, Milton Academy’s K-8 Principal, believes opening Swap-It up to members outside of the school was “the most work for the least reward to Milton.” For Swap-It 2013, the sale has not only been restricted to the Milton community but also now focuses on just clothing and other supplies for local organizations. “Fewer sparkly reindeers, more mugs and plates and cast-iron pans,” describes a Swap-It brochure. Due to these changes, the event will put Milton Academy in important partnerships with local nonprofit organizations such as Cradles to Crayons and Rosie’s Place. Mr. Carter stands proudly behind the new changes to Swap-It, believing that they will not only help Milton but also reward the greater community.
The many volunteers serve vital roles in the production of such a successful event. Swap-It is lead by three co-chairs, all Lower School parents. There are also Day Captains, who are in charge of Swap-It each day it is open, and department heads, who manage specific departments like clothing, household items, and the cash registers. Parents who wished to get involved could easily sign up online to work at their desired time and in whichever department. This way, parents of students from the same grade can sign up to work together and socialize with each other while they volunteer, making the event fun for both volunteers and students alike.
Amy Kerr (I) represents a majority of the student body when she says, “After the discouraging rumors, I was so happy to hear that Swap-It was happening again this year; I love looking through the ridiculous clothes with friends!” Charlie Blasberg (I) agrees, mentioning that he was “relieved to know that [his] favorite event of the year would not be canceled.”
Tonight is the Swap-It Dance, a night that provides the Upper School with a chance to dress and an essential break from the rigor of academics. Students rush to the ACC where they purchase many crazy clothes, hats, and other ridiculous pieces of clothing that otherwise might not be purchased by the average Swap-It consumer. Constantine Velmahos (II) comments, “The costumes are strange, but the dance is a lot of fun.” Raising additional revenue to help the Lower School’s projects, this dance brings an entertaining and highly anticipated close to this annual event.
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