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"Stop Our Sequester" Bake Sale Held on the Downtown Mall - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

"Stop Our Sequester" Bake Sale Held on the Downtown Mall

Posted: Updated: March 30, 2013 09:08 PM EDT

A group is trying to raise more than $500,000 for Charlottesville and Albemarle County schools to offset cuts from federal sequestration.

They set-up a bake sale on the Charlottesville downtown mall Saturday to start collecting cash.

Organizing for Action sponsored the "Stop Our Sequester" bake sale at the Free Speech Wall Saturday afternoon. Charlottesville and Albemarle County officials sold baked goods to try and save the schools. It was part of a national Organizing for America effort to raise awareness about the impact of sequestration cuts.

"We're trying to raise the consciousness of people about the fact that the sequester is hurting us here," former Albemarle County Supervisor Sally Thomas said.

All baked goods on the table were for sold for $1. Organizers were looking to raise $557,730.

"These are somewhat symbolic numbers," Charlottesville Vice Mayor Kristin Szakos said. "What we did was looked at the county's school budget and we looked the city's school budget and how much of that money comes from federal sources and since all federal funding will be cut by 5 percent, we just took 5 percent of that."

Albemarle County School Board members say the cuts would affect mandated programs.

"Those federal funds affect our Title I programs and certainly our lunch programs for children," said Diantha McKeel, of the Albemarle County School Board.

"So the Title I programs that we have established for the students that are at risk."

These are losses organizers hope Congress will realize aren't necessary.

"We're hoping to have Congress realize that it has local impact and that people are recognizing the impact of cutting back on federal funds in an arbitrary way," Thomas said.

Bake sale organizers encouraged everyone that stopped by to call their Congress representatives.

They raised $317 that will be split between city and county schools.

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