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Everybody Sleeps: Stamford's Bob Tonne Leads a Mattress Fundraising Charge

Coach Job Fernandez (in white) urges on his wrestler. He hopes the mattress fundraiser will help the team buy new team jackets and other necessities. Photo Credit: Vira Mamchur Schwartz
According to Consumer Fundraising Solutions Bob Tonne, adjustable beds are all the rage right now. You'll find them at Norwalk High Wrestling's mattress fundraiser on Sunday, January 28th. Photo Credit: Contributed
That's a lot of mattresses! A high school in Louisiana owns the record for most earned during a Consumer Fundraising Solutions event. Photo Credit: Contributed

Selling chocolates and magazines door-to-door as a school fundraiser is a relic of the past, at least that’s what Job Fernandez, math teacher and head coach of the Norwalk High School wrestling team is counting on.

Fernandez and his team are hosting a mattress fundraiser this Sunday, January 28 in the Norwalk High School gym from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We chose a mattress fundraiser because there is a great deal of potential to raise a significant amount of funds while minimizing the upfront financial responsibility on the team,” said Fernandez. “Furthermore, we will be selling an item that individuals actually need and are in the market for.”

Providing all the mattresses and more is Custom Fundraising Solutions. The Stamford office hosting this event includes Stamford resident Bob Tonne, owner and Chief Mattress Officer who has had about 150 fundraising campaigns over Westchester, Fairfield, New Haven, and Litchfield counties in the seven years he’s been doing this.

Custom Fundraising Solutions is a national company based in Ohio that began in 2005 with the thought that “not everyone needs a candy bar, but everyone sleeps on a mattress.” Companywide, 27 mattresses are sold per event.  According to CFS’ website, to date, over $25 million has been given back to groups and youth organizations across the country.

“At one event we sold 75 mattresses,” said Tonne, “and earned the group $10,000.”

How does it work? Tonne and his crew take over a school’s gymnasium and set up mattresses and accessories for every bed in the house. You can find brands such as Simmons, Beautyrest, and the Lifestyle adjustable beds – a very popular option according to Tonne – often up to 50 percent off retail.

Fernandez hopes to use the funds to purchase new team hoodies and jackets as well as other team necessities,

While neither students nor parents do any of the selling – the CFS professionals are there for that – they are responsible for bringing in interested shoppers.

“I expect the boys to be great salesmen in that way,” said Fernandez. “They are very invested and understand that the success of the endeavor is beneficial for them.”

The mattress fundraiser takes place at the Norwalk High School gym on County Street on Sunday, January 28th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit Norwalk Wrestling’s event or Custom Fundraising Solutions Connecticut.

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