Saturday, December 19, 2009
Students at Benet Academy in Lisle, Illinois, United States raised record amounts of money this year during their Christmas Drive fundraiser.
The annual two-week event is aimed at promoting the Christmas spirit in helping the poor and needy. Coordination of the fundraiser is a joint effort by the faculty and three students organizations—Student Government, National Honor Society (NHS), and Outreach. Donations from previous years have allowed Outreach to provide food and Christmas gifts to dozens of families during the holiday season. NHS in the past has provided blankets, winter gear, and toys to local families as well.
A semi-formal dance held on Dec. 5 kicked off the Christmas Drive this year. Two weeks of in-school fundraising efforts ensued, including several no-uniform days and Benet’s traditional Penny Wars. In that four-day activity, the four grade levels competed against each other to see who can collect the most pennies. Nickels, dimes, and quarters were allowed but had negative value in the class total. The seniors won this contest, allowing them to have a no-uniform day on Dec. 11. Other activities such as bake sales and a beard-growing contest raised money as well.
During an all-school assembly on Friday, the last day of the drive, Student Government President Kyle Marinko announced that preliminary calculations put the amount of donations at US$53,392.82, a record for the school. Last year’s drive collected approximately US$42,000. A final total has not been officially announced, since Student Government officials continue to count additional donations that have been received.