WOODLAND HILLS : Cushion Sales to Soften Schools’ Budget Pains

Richard Terry of Woodland Hills believes he has discovered a way to cushion the blows of school budget cuts.

Drawing from his experience as an advertising specialist, the 45-year-old father of three, who also ministers at the Valley Circle Church of Christ in Woodland Hills, has founded a nonprofit program called Save Our Schools as a vehicle to donate thousands of bleacher cushions to area high schools.

The cushions, emblazoned with each school’s name and logo on one side and local advertisements on the other, are sold by booster clubs to generate funds for school activities.

“Every time you turn around, the budget is being cut,” Terry said. “The programs I enjoyed when I was in high school are just not there for students anymore.”


Terry launched Save Our Schools last year, donating 1,000 cushions to each of three Ventura County high schools.

Barbara Safe, who works in the athletic department at Thousand Oaks High School, which received 1,000 cushions from Save Our Schools, said the school raised about $2,000 selling the cushions to students and parents last year.

But this year, she expects sales to improve.

“Now that we have experience, it will be more successful,” Safe said.


Safe said the cushions arrived too late in the year for football season, and about 675 were left over at the end of the year. The cheerleaders sold all of them at graduation for $1 each.

Save Our Schools will donate 1,000 cushions to each of 13 schools this year, including Calabasas, Agoura, Chatsworth, El Camino Real, Canoga Park and Taft high schools.

Terry said the project needs the cooperation of parents, community members and local businesses. Terry is encouraging the businesses that advertise on the cushions to display stickers in their windows to show their support for the schools.

Advertising fees pay for the cost of the cushions as well as the printing, Terry said. About 50 cents per cushion is reinvested in the program to cover handling and processing fees.