Wisconsin Insurance Liquidation Becomes School Funding Opportunity

March 5, 2009

When Paul Dix, principal of Wisconsin’s Oakfield High School, received a call recently about a new fundraising opportunity for the school, he was expecting the usual candy sale or gift wrap catalog. What he didn’t expect was the opportunity to serve as liquidation manager for $133,000 worth of sporting goods recently acquired through an insurance claim settlement.

Approximately one month since that initial conversation, Oakfield High School is preparing to provide a valuable hands-on learning experience for many of its students, and needed funds for its clubs and athletic programs.

Oakfield High School was approached by CodeBlue, an insurance claim processing company for commercial and residential property losses headquartered in Eau Claire. CodeBlue had recently been charged with liquidating $133,000 worth of sporting goods ranging from athletic shoes to hockey and ski equipment by one of their insurance customers.

Typically, CodeBlue uses a network of distribution channels for the sale of the goods it receives. But company officials thought the superior quality and selection of items as well as the volume of merchandise called for a more creative solution.

“Despite the multitude of organizations both public and private awaiting funding from the federal stimulus package, we felt it was time to stop waiting and start helping our community to fend for itself,” said Paul Gross, president and CEO of CodeBlue.

Gross said his firm typically recovers 20 to 50 percent of the cost of goods that are claimed in an insurance settlement.

Working with the Oakfield School District as its distribution channel, CodeBlue expects that the school will be able to raise $10,000 to $15,000 on this project.

Starting this week Oakfield students participating in student government, Future Farmers of America, foreign language clubs, and the athletic department will be learning to inventory and price all of the sporting goods for the sale. Then the students will work on advertising campaigns to attract customers and manage the actual sale of the items.

The school is using its greenhouse as the store front to take advantage of the open shelf space that is available.

CodeBlue, which is owned by Insurance Claims Management, Inc. will act as an advisor to the process, providing expertise in pricing of goods as well as suggestions on marketing. CodeBlue will also be providing wireless credit card machines throughout the sales process.

“We are approached many times throughout the year with fundraising ideas,” said Dix. “As we looked into this idea further, we could see the possibility of providing a unique educational opportunity to our students, in addition to revenue that could be used to support the clubs and activities of the school. Wisconsin has been going through some hard times, as has the rest of the nation. Our staff and students are banding together to make this a success in every way.”

The sale will begin Sunday, March 8 and last approximately three weeks. The store location will be in the Agriculture Department greenhouse adjacent to the Oakfield High School.

Source: CodeBlue

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