In the old days school groups sold candy bars and wrapping paper to raise money for activities. They still do, but now there’s a new craze on the fundraising front: mattresses, a concept that Foran High School has grabbed onto this year.

Custom Fundraising Solutions, with offices across the country, came up with the mattress selling concept in 2005. On his company website, Moe Matejka, founder and CEO of Custom Fundraising Solutions, explains that in 2005 he founded his company with the idea that there had to be a better way to raise funds than by selling the same things that students have been selling for generations.

“Our concept, the ‘mattress fundraiser,’ quickly gained acceptance in northeastern United States, and grew to be a national fundraising powerhouse,” according to the company website.

The company franchised, and is now in nearly 50 locations, spanning the country, and is aiming for 100 locations.

Foran High School will hold its first mattress fundraiser Saturday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

Theresa Voss and Jessica Shearer, music teachers at Foran, said they chose a mattress fundraiser this year because they heard many positive comments about the fundraiser from colleagues at other area high schools in Cheshire, North Haven and Meriden.

“We were encouraged to give it a try,” Shearer said.

“Other schools have raised upwards of $7,000, which would be wonderful,” said Voss.

According to School Spokeswoman Kathy Bonetti, one of the groups at Jonathan Law High School held a mattress fundraiser in recent years.

The average family in the U.S. has over four mattresses in their home, each of which has a life cycle of about 10 years, the Custom Fundraising Solutions website states.

“We know all the beds in a home don’t wear out at the same time, which creates a constant market for new mattresses,” company officials say. “We also know that a survey of the population in the United States revealed a startling statistic: one in 10 people buy a mattress every single year.”

Every mattress purchased at the Foran sale will benefit the school music department. The sale will include twins from $259, fulls from $279 and kings from $499. There will be all sizes and styles, including firm, pillow top, orthopedic, Latex and gel memory foam sets, according to a promotional flier.

The mattresses are all brand new, with full factory warranties, and there will be name brands like Simmons, Beautyrest and more.

There will be free layaway; and delivery upon request. Cash, check and credit cards will be accepted.

The sale is in addition to the music department’s other annual fundraisers, such as the sale of  frozen cookie dough, Lyman Orchard pies, and an Election Day bake sale. Those fundraisers generally garner a range of funds, from about $150 for a can drive to $3,500 for the cookie dough sale.

The majority of the money the music teachers raise supports enrichment activities for students.

”We defray the costs for all field trips, specifically our Music in the Parks Competition and our annual overnight band and choir trips,” Voss and Shearer said in an email. “Funds are also used for guest artists, accompanists, and instruments for the band. This year the Foran Band and Choir will be traveling to Walt Disney World in Florida and this fundraiser will go toward expenses for that trip.”

While those other fund-raising sales may require some baking, maybe some walking the neighborhood or calling friends and family, the mattress fundraiser will sort of take care of itself, according to the Custom Fundraising Solutions website.

“We come to your school, set up a mobile showroom and give the community a product they need,” the website states. “We offer a huge selection of mattress styles, all priced 30%-60% below retail.”

For information call Jessica Shearer, 203- 783-3535.