Community collaboration leads to record-breaking Charity Week

By Grace Cueter, Editor-in-Chief

Student Association’s months of planning, weeks of preparation, days of work, hours of collaboration, and hundreds of phone calls came to a successful conclusion on Friday, Feb. 10. During the week, Student Association raised more than $7000 for charity, making it the most successful Charity Week to date. 

The week included fundraisers, activities at after school sporting events, daily restaurant nights and a variety of events throughout the school days, including a pancake breakfast, cookie sales and a pizza lunch. Student Association adviser Jonathan Byrne views Charity Week as an opportunity for students and the community to build something from the ground up, and notes that the success of this year’s events was one for the record books.

“Each of the events surpassed my expectations both in terms of organization and in how much money they raised,” Byrne said. “The pancake breakfast broke a record, the raffle broke a record, we had more restaurant partners than ever before. It was just an incredible week.”

During Charity Week, each Student Association member played a role in creating a successful workflow and atmosphere of excitement at each of the fundraisers. Sophomore senator Maddie Pflaum was directly involved in a variety of events throughout the week, including the activities organized at the Unified Basketball games against South and Sterling Heights. Pflaum says that the week not only raises funds for a deserving charity, but it also brings the community together. 

“I greatly enjoyed being part of Charity Week and being able to contribute my efforts and time because seeing so many kids be positively affected by our work makes me so proud of our North community,” Pflaum said. 

Each year, a charity is selected as the recipient of the funds raised during Charity Week. Byrne says that Student Association members bring ideas to the table and vote on the charity that they feel drawn to. 

“The students in the Student Association presented different charities for consideration and discussed each option,” Byrne said. “Kids on the Go was the clear favorite this year because of the incredible opportunities they provide for so many students with special needs.”

Kids on the Go is a non-profit organization that provides free therapy services across Metro Detroit for special needs children and teens from ages three to 17. More than 50 programs are offered throughout the school year and a variety of camps are run during the summer. Kids on the Go director and Grosse Pointe resident Kristy Schena is extremely grateful that her organization was selected. 

“I was overwhelmed with emotion to find out that Kids on the Go was selected as a charity of choice by Grosse Pointe North and South,” Schena said. “I was able to attend the Unified Basketball game. We are so blessed to live in a community that supports all types of learners.”

The camps offered by Kids on the Go include all star hoops, all star flag football, social skills, fine arts adaptive theater and so much more. For every $500 donated to the organization, there is a student sponsored in an individual’s name. Schena assures that the money raised by Student Association will be put towards the sponsorship of deserving special needs children and teens. 

“Last week was such a beautiful example of what our community can do when we come together,” Schena said. “The planning and execution of activities throughout the week was beyond impressive and the students from [North and South] should be commended for their efforts. Children will receive scholarships because of the generosity of the students and community.”

After a record-breaking week, Student Association is gearing up for next-year’s planning. The community’s response to both North and South’s efforts gives Byrne hope that they will be able to include younger leaders in next year’s fundraising, expanding involvement to the entire community. 

“I would love to see more participation from other schools in the community, especially the elementary schools,” Byrne said. “I am going to challenge my leaders next year to get the younger kids involved in some way. It has the potential to be a community-wide effort.”

Click here to view photos from Charity Week