When my son was injured, his friends organized a concert for him, and raised over $50,000. This is a different age group, I know, but I was thinking a dance? Get the local VA hall involved, they'll usually rent out fairly cheaply. You could also organize events like the bake sale, auction, refreshments, whatever, under the same roof.
Another idea - a walkathon; get folks to walk x number of miles, and raise money in pledges.
Is their church involved? Church organizations can be a tremendous help in raising money.
Just remembered also, the coffee shop where my son worked part-time put a gallon jar at the cash register, and they managed to raise over $10,000 just with folks contributing their change.
Get local TV/radio involved, too.