‘They do everything 110%’: George Washington Academy breaks Dixie Direct record for most books sold

Dixie Direct owner Tony Chambers presents a check to George Washington Academy, St. George, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Tony Chambers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Students from George Washington Academy broke the record this year for selling the most Dixie Direct books in the fundraiser’s history, resulting in a $18,025 check for the school to keep. 

Dixie Direct owner Tony Chambers awards a check at Coral Canyon Elementary School, Hurricane, Utah, date unspecified | Photo courtesy of Tony Chambers, St. George News

For the past 25 years, Dixie Direct has partnered with schools across the Washington County School District to sell their annual coupon books, which offer hundreds of dollars’ worth of local coupons. The schools keep half of the profits from each book sold, and the students who sell the most books win prizes ranging from free swag to gift cards to local restaurants, stores and activities. 

George Washington Academy sold 1,030 books this year. The money will go to the school’s Parent Teacher Organization, who will decide how to distribute the funds. In past years, the money has helped pay for field trips, daytime school activities, classroom supplies and other things that aren’t included in the school’s budget, Executive Director Blake Clark told St. George News. 

“Our kids here, they do everything 110%,” Clark said. “I think that it’s really nice having our students go out in the community and show them that as a charter school, we’re still a huge part of the community and to see their support.” 

Every student at every school in town is able to participate in the fundraiser, but they don’t have to. Clark said it’s fun to watch the students compete for the best prizes of their own accord. 

Tony Chambers, owner of Dixie Direct, said the program is a win-win-win for the schools, the community and local businesses. Over the past 24 years, Dixie Direct has raised $4 million for local schools, and this year it raised $81,000 for 35 schools. Chambers told St. George News that he remembers selling things for school fundraisers when he was a kid, and the companies he was fundraising for were always from out of the area. 

“That’s what makes Dixie Direct unique: It’s supporting local. We’re local,” he said. “I always say if you’re gonna buy a Dixie Direct anyways buy from a local organization instead of us directly and then somebody else is benefitting.” 

A package of prizes is prepared at Dixie Direct on Feb. 1, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Tony Chambers, St. George News.

Each Dixie Direct book costs $35, which means the school keeps $17.50 per book. If a student sells two books, they win free items from businesses like Yogurtland, McDonald’s and Bahama Bucks. If a student sells five, they win a $25 gift card to Fiesta Fun and more free items. If they sell ten books, they win an additional Fiesta Fun gift card. If a school sells 300 books, the top-selling student wins a $200 Visa gift card. Last week, Dixie Direct visited 20 schools to present checks and take photos, and this week they are continuing to package and deliver prizes to more than 500 students, Chambers said.

“George Washington – I wanna give them mad props cause they slayed every record,” he said. “They just killed it this year.”

Other participating schools across the district included Coral Canyon Elementary School, LaVerkin Elementary School, Bloomington Elementary School, Vista Charter School, Majestic Falls Elementary School and Arrowhead Elementary School. 

“It’s really nice that community businesses and community members are supporting local schools,” Clark said. “They’re always looking at how to support schools and the kids, and we’re fortunate to be a part of that.”

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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