First reported 5/28/2010 1:29 p.m.

With a grand total of $674, Whittier elementary school’s PTO is the big winner of the District 97 Tasty Dog Challenge.

The winners were announced last Friday at the restaurant, 708 Lake St. Combined, the local schools earned a total of $3,331 based on a percentage of the total sales generated by customers representing their various schools during the month-long contest.

Renee Domenz, a parent at Hatch School and organizer of the challenge, was pleased with how the contest turned out. Her school, the smallest in the district she pointed out, came in fourth place with $386. Whittier’s PTO received a $200 cash prize, in addition to 15 percent from their customers’ purchases. The other PTOs also received a cash prize and 15 percent of their sales.

Representatives from the eight elementary schools were invited to the Friday morning announcement. Some of the contest sponsors who chipped in with prize money also attended. Tasty Dog owners Michael and Rob Barton came from behind the grill for the ceremony and to congratulate the school reps. Karen Doyle, a parent and PTO member of Whittier, accepted on her school’s behalf.

“This is really great. Whittier has so much spirit. Everyone came out. It’s just wonderful,” she said, adding that the money is really needed.

The contest started on April 21 with Mann school. In subsequent weeks, a different school was given one day to bring out as many customers as possible. Domenz was impressed with Whittier’s turnout.

“They had people come out for breakfast, and later in the day when I came, the food line was at the front door,” she said.

Domenz said the overall turnout was more than she could have imagined. And there may even be a Tasty Dog Challenge II, she hinted.

“First I want to check with everyone but I think we can raise even more money,” she said.

CONTACT: tdean@wjinc.com

How each school did

  • First place: Whittier, $674
  • Second: Mann, $510
  • Third: Lincoln, $450
  • Fourth: Hatch, $386
  • Fifth: Longfellow, $381
  • Sixth: Beye, $346
  • Seventh: Irving, $323
  • Eighth: Holmes, $236


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