HHS students prove to be a driving force in raising money for charity
May 24, 2012 • Shayley Steinke, Staff Writer
Filed under News
Charity is something that almost everyone wants or tries to dabble in. This year, for Howell High School students, they have taken on that challenge and have far exceeded the normal standards. HHS students have been involved with numerous charities throughout the year and have raised a total of roughly 50,000 dollars.
In first place, with raising around 15,000 dollars, is the student council in partnership with LESA (Livingston Educational Service Agency). They hosted the annual Stuff the Bus fundraiser. This year, there were buses parked at both Howell and Fowlerville Walmart stores. This was by far a community effort but the student council was ready and willing to lend a hand. Stuff the Bus takes place around Christmas time and their mission is to fill the bus full of Christmas presents such as toys and clothes. All the proceeds then go to children and families in the community who can’t afford such gifts. Members helped fill the buses and encouraged shoppers to contribute to a good cause.
“This gave students a great opportunity to get out in the community and do something really good for people in need. Our students did a wonderful job,” said Ms. Dana Ritenour, the teacher who helped students organize the event.
Student council has been in charge of many charities, but by far the most innovative one is the annual Senior Survivor competition. In one week alone they raised a total of 13,270 dollars. Every year the senior student council runs the event, and they decide what charity will receive the money. This year they chose something close in our community, the Arc of Livingston. This organization exists to help families and individuals with developmental disabilities by providing support, information and advocacy. Its goal is to help build a community that includes and values people with disabilities. Each member on the survivor crew had to raise money to stay in the competition. Students went around the school and practically begged people for money, along with selling their team t-shirts for seven dollars apiece. Some gave various food items in return for donations and some serenaded students with their guitar playing and singing. If contestants were lucky they received checks from people, like family members or from the church they belong to.
Third place this year goes to the Interact Club and their fight for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Like most others, the way Interact Club raised money was by selling shirts and finding students who were willing to shave their heads for charity. Those participants asked for donations as well. This foundation is a national organization dedicated to finding funds to help end childhood cancers. As a result, they raise awareness, provide support for children and families, and use other money towards research to help find an end.
“This was our first year doing this and we far exceeded our expectations. We hoped to raise 2,000 dollars but we more than tripled it with 7,333 dollars,” said Ms. Karen Lessnau, the Interact Club advisor.
The Howell Boys Tennis Team has yet raised more money this year for a very important cause, the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association. Senior Nick Barnowski on the team has a father who is currently diagnosed with ALS. To raise awareness and support, the team sold red wristbands and people could buy paper shoes that would be later placed on a wall at school. The team tried to get teachers involved while also placing posters around classrooms. Barnowski spoke at the homecoming pep assembly to get the message across on a subject that is more prevalent than one would think. The tennis team had a tournament and encouraged people to come, watch, and make donations. For their efforts, they raised a total of 5,500 dollars.
“It was great to see the whole school involved for a cause that hits so close to home. The tennis team and the ALS Association were impressed by the generosity of high school students,” Barnowski says.
One event this year that definitely took people by surprise was the culinary arts wild game dinner. They featured delicious dishes like pheasant, goose, bear meat balls, elk beef tips, Alaskan salmon, and much more. The dinner was supported by the community and people could buy tickets to this dinner for 30 dollars per person, or 50 dollars per couple. With raising a total of 2,600 dollars, 1,300 going toward Gleaners Food Bank and the other 1,300 going to The Connection Youth Services, a local family agency. They have decided to make this an annual event because of its great success.
“It was really cool seeing people ban together for a cause and come together and give all their time and effort,” says Brain Leboeuf, culinary arts teacher.
This year students went above and beyond, coming up with new, inventive, and entertaining ways to raise the money. Every student involved played an important role. All charities were very grateful for the enormous effort of the student body.