Renovation Sensation, annual benefit for Shawnee Mission East SHARE program, shows off four homes Wednesday

Julie Blumenthal (left) and Ashley Pindell are coordinators for this year's Renovation Sensation fundraiser for the SME SHARE program
Julie Blumenthal (left) and Ashley Pindell are coordinators for this year’s Renovation Sensation fundraiser for the SM East SHARE program

Renovation Sensation 2016 hopes to raise $50,000 this year to support what’s regarded as one of the best high school service opportunities in the nation, the SHARE program at SM East.

For the 12th year, the Renovation Sensation fundraiser will open superbly decorated existing and new homes for a daylong touring opportunity. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. this Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Ashley Pindell, an event coordinator, said four homes will be open this year featuring different styles. Two are in Leawood while Mission Hills and Fairway have one each.

“We try to choose different styles of homes to give people ideas depending on their style preference,” Pindell said.

“It’s fun to make a day of it. I’m telling my friends to do two houses in the morning, grab lunch, and then two in the afternoon.”

The cost is $25 in advance and tickets can be purchased online or at a dozen local businesses including the Hen House stores in Prairie Village, Corinth and Fairway. Tickets can be purchased on the day of the event for $30 at any of the tour homes. A drawing for special prizes also is included.

The proceeds go to fund the student-run SHARE program, which is celebrating its 30th year. Last year, more than 600 SM East students participated in more than 40 projects serving the community.

While SHARE is entirely voluntary and the projects are chosen and led by students, the funding from Renovation Sensation goes to pay the salary of a full-time SHARE coordinator at SM East and project costs.

“One of the great things about SHARE is kids see the value of community service and see themselves making a difference in the community,” Pindell said.

Julie Blumenthal, who also is an event coordinator, said the students contribute a total of 4,000 hours of community service each year. On Senior Day, 85 percent of the seniors participate in a day of voluntary service as well.

“It teaches our students at Shawnee Mission East to have a heart for service throughout their life,” Blumenthal said.

The Renovation Sensation fundraiser has grown more popular each year. There are 30 volunteers on the committee and on the day of the tour almost 100 volunteers, including SHARE students, help out.

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