by Carolyn Konopski
Grand Island Chamber of Commerce
Nine-year-old friends Mike Valle and Jack Dlugokinski have been friends since kindergarten. Even though they attend different elementary schools, one at Huth Road Elementary and one at Kaegebein Elementary, they still do things together.
Mike and Jack decided to team up as business partners and participate in this year's KidBiz event held on June 23. This Grand Island Chamber of Commerce event allows students in grades 2 through 8 to get an idea of what it is like to run a business. Mike and Jack made 60 marshmallow shooters and sold them all at KidBiz for $5 apiece. After seeing just how successful their product was at KidBiz, they decided to make another 125 marshmallow shooters to sell up and down Grand Island Boulevard during the Independence Day parade. The students went to Town Hall and applied for a peddler's permit and got to work. Mike and Jack decided after reviewing costs to make the product and to decorate each shooter with paint and duct tape they made a business decision to sell the shooters for $6 apiece during the parade. They worked together and sold 115 shooters on the Fourth of July. After paying their parents back for purchasing the materials, they had a nice profit.
Mike and Jack play hockey together and decided to put some of that profit towards a hockey camp, but first they wanted to make a contribution back to their community. Mike and Jack met with Kim McMahon of the Miracle League of Grand Island and Western New York and donated $115 towards the organization, which provides an opportunity for disabled baseball players to play games on an adaptive diamond. Both boys love baseball, but Mike has a cousin who is now 4 years old and has special needs. His hope is to someday play baseball with his cousin at the new Miracle League Field located at Veterans Park on Grand Island.
Mike and Jack are looking to continue the growth of their business. Those interested in purchasing marshmallow shooters for gifts or party favors can contact them by emailing [email protected].