People aren't morons and they will usually help if you are honest and present a good case. Buying a half ounce of Gummi Bears for $12 or a pound of frozen cookie dough for $15-20 is not a good case. Boosterthon is *especially* a particularly hideous case because my daughter told me personally how they shortened the course-the same way others mentioned.
The parents that say "parents could coordinate outside of the school time" have obviously not helped with a major fund raiser at school. I have tried both and time and time again it is the same 5 parents that are doing the work. NOT to mention the strain it has on your family, your marriage, when you are running a fund raiser.
A week and a half of disrupted class time in exchange for a fund raiser that raises what it took our school to do in three, is welcome here.