One of Sant Bani School’s signature programs is Projects Period. Each year, students choose a topic of interest – culinary endeavors, learning about technology, and exploring family lineage tend to be popular examples – and then spend time researching their chosen topic and preparing a presentation, which is shared with the school community.
Most students complete their project during a designated two-week period on the school calendar in late-February and early March; however, Middle School students have the option to complete their project during the summer months. Students who opt to do a summer project often choose something that is service-based.
Current Sant Bani School seventh-grade students David Mahoney and George Sutherland are two students who chose a service-based summer project. The duo, with assistance from Concord-based New Hampshire Pizza Company (NHPCO), sold homemade ice cream and donated 100 percent of the proceeds to the World Central Kitchen, raising $3,281 for the organization.
“My grandmother suggested World Central Kitchen,” David explained. “We were thinking of an organization to support, and she had seen the work they are doing to support Ukraine. After she told us about it, we wanted to help.”
According to their website, the World Central Kitchen “began serving hot, nourishing meals within hours of the initial invasion, and quickly grew our response mobilizing teams of cooks in Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, Spain, and Germany. With more people returning to Ukraine, WCK is focusing our efforts to provide hundreds of thousands of fresh meals and tens of thousands of food kits each day.”
In thinking of an item to sell, ice cream quickly came to mind for David, whose family owns Brookford Farm in Canterbury.
Brookford is one of the local farms that supplies ingredients to the New Hampshire Pizza Company. David’s mother, Catarina, approached NHPCO’s Head Chef Rylan Hill to see if he would be willing to form a partnership to assist with the fundraiser: the Mahoney’s would provide milk and eggs from their farm, and then Rylan would make the ice cream in the NHPCO kitchen. When it was ready, the family would pick it up and take it home to Brookford Farm to sell it for the fundraiser.
“My goal in life is to feed the masses – not just paying customers at our restaurant, but also people in need,” Rylan said. “As chefs, we like to seek organizations that are in need of support, and when Catarina approached me with the idea I was fully on board to help any way I could. Ice cream is my passion, so this was the perfect chance for me to use my passion to help kids doing a fundraiser and service project for their school.”
In addition to offering traditional ice cream flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, flavors sold included goat milk, basil, and “banilla,” or banana-flavored vanilla. Each week, Rylan makes a unique sundae for the restaurant, and he would make a large enough batch to include that week’s ice cream flavor for David and George to sell.
To advertise, both Brookford Farm and New Hampshire Pizza Company took advantage of their social media followings by promoting the fundraiser on their respective Facebook pages. David and George typically held ice cream sales on Thursday, which is Brookford’s CSA pickup day.
David and George both took away valuable lessons from their summer experience.
“For me, it was learning about business partnerships, especially the collaboration and cooperation needed to make such a project happen,” David said.
George also noted the importance of partnerships in reflecting on what made their venture a success.
“Without Brookford Farm and the New Hampshire Pizza Company working together, the project would never have worked,” he said.
David and George provided just one of the many instances of Sant Bani School students exemplifying the “Do Good” in the school’s motto, “Be Good, Do Good, Be One.”