CHS raises funds through Dixie Grace

From left, freshman class president Ava Denison, student council member at large Grant Reuss and freshman class vice president Addison Butler pose with the Bleed Blue collection.

As freshman class president at Columbia High School, Ava Denison wanted a fresh fundraising idea. 

She and CHS freshman class vice president Addison Butler found this through collaborating with Dixie Grace Hand-Crafted Home Fragrance & Mercantile in Columbia. Together, they created the Bleed Blue collection. 

Half of the sales from the collection’s wooden wick candle, foaming hand soap, wax melt and soap/ shave whip go to the student council class of 2025.

“I thought of the fundraiser idea once I got to know Katie Miller, the owner of Dixie Grace, over the last couple of years. Her store is really neat to shop at and she is really easy going,” Denison said. “One of my older sisters works there, so I just thought I would ask. As a freshman, I was just hoping to have a unique thing to sell, not the same pizzas or popcorn.” 

Miller, who makes all Dixie line home fragrance products in her Columbia Center storefront, sent Denison home with some scent sample bottles to test. From there, Denison and other student council members decided on the signature blueberry, peach and cotton candy blend, along with the Bleed Blue label. 

“I really wanted something sweet and fun that was in season all year around,” Denison said. “We sniffed a lot of combinations and landed on this one. It kind of reminds me of a snow cone at the fair.” 

Yet, the deal gets even sweeter, Denison said. 

“One of my favorite things about partnering with Dixie Grace is that we will be selling our Bleed Blue line until we graduate in 2025!” Denison said. 

This type of fundraiser was not only new for CHS, but also for Miller. 

“We’re able to do custom orders for various organizations and businesses, we’ve just never done it for a fundraiser before,” Miller said, adding that she is open to exploring other fundraising efforts in the future. 

Denison explained the fundraiser will benefit various class projects. 

“We plan on using the funds to help decorate our homecoming dance, floats in the parade and activities for Spirit Week,” she said. “We are hoping to have money when we are seniors that we can donate to local charities.” 

The Bleed Blue Collection is available exclusively at 

In addition to her store and online shop, Miller also wholesales her home fragrance brand to many other small businesses across the U.S. In the same spirit, she carries many other small brands in her shop too. 

Dixie Grace is open Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 24/7 online at

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Madison Lammert

Madison is a reporter at the Republic-Times. She has over six years of experience in journalistic writing. Madison is a recent graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; she graduated summa cum laude with a degree in mass communications. Before graduating and working at the Republic-Times, Madison worked for SIUE’s student newspaper, The Alestle, for many years. During her time there she filled many roles, including editor-in-chief. When she is not working, she likes to spend time with her dog and try new restaurants across the river.
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