Self(less) parking


Ohio Key Clubbers design a creative fundraiser for a teacher in need.

By Danielle Castonzo

This summer, Amber Seeley, president of the Indian Lake High School Key Club in Lewiston, Ohio, approached her club advisor with an idea. At the end of the 2017-18 school year, math teacher Amber Shively had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Seeley proposed a fundraiser: Key Club members would organize a project allowing students to pay to decorate their school parking spots with original designs, and all funds would go toward Shively’s medical expenses.

Shively has worked at Indian Lake High School for 11 years. She had heard about the fundraiser over the summer but had no idea she was the intended recipient of the money.


“I was in the hospital with some chemo complications and spotted a post on the school’s Facebook page,” she says. “Once I realized the funds were for my family, I was shocked and very humbled. It brought tears to my eyes, and I showed the article to all the nurses.”

Each student pays US$25 to design and decorate a spot. After school administration approves the design draft, the student has three days to complete the creative process:  sweeping the parking space, drafting the design with chalk and painting the final art. Works range from sea turtles to the simple words “Parking Space.”

“The designs that the students have submitted so far are beautiful, funny, personal and self-reflective,” says Jen Ignarski, the Key Club’s advisor. “I am so impressed. I think it will encourage school spirit, pride and maybe make them or others smile when they arrive at school each day. I know when I walk after school in the parking lot, I still admire the completed spaces and smile.”


So far, the Paint Your Parking Spot project has raised $375 toward Shively’s cancer fund, with a goal of $1,000. Donations help with any outstanding costs related to treatment, transportation, parking or dinners incurred since Shively’s diagnosis.

Her medical insurance doesn’t cover all expenses, Shively says, so the extra funds will be extremely helpful.

“It seems like every time I’ve hit a rough patch in my journey, something positive always happens to get me through it. Finding out about this fundraiser as I sat in a hospital room is another incredible example of this. I’m so incredibly grateful to the Key Club and all students involved with this fundraiser. They gave me the morale boost I needed on a rough day and helped give me peace of mind for future finances.”





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