By J1 reporter Samantha Fabian
Walk-A-Thon (WAT) was started at Marian way back in 1985, and has since grown into one of Marian’s biggest student-lead fundraisers. For four Wednesdays, Sept. 7 through Sept. 28, students brought in money in hopes of raising their class total, while simultaneously competing with other classes. Counting the money can be a daunting task, but the question is, “Who would want to count the entirety of all of the $125,000 that the school raised this year?”
The answer comes in the form of a friendly smile and a bright personality, Business Office Assistant Mrs. Julie O’Doherty. She, along with her husband Pat, and two of her close friends, Jim and Ida Jessen, count every single penny that the Marian girls bring in during the WAT season. They have been completing this task for six years now, and have even established a working system to make the workload easier.
Each member of this four-person crew has been assigned to one grade for counting money. Mrs. O’Doherty takes the juniors, her husband gets the seniors, Jim takes the freshmen, and Ida gets the sophomores. Mrs. O’Doherty said that, “This way, you get familiar with the names.” She also stated that some students don’t write clearly, so it helps them if they’ve seen students’ writing before and can establish a base for their penmanship.
It takes the group all of Wednesday afternoon to count everyone’s money, and then Mrs. O’Doherty spends Thursday recounting it and getting it ready for the bank. When asked about mishaps that may have happened when counting the money, Mrs. O’Doherty said that it usually comes when students think that have put more money in their envelope than they actually did.
The correlation to how much money is actually brought in during each collection date, “varies depending on the goals that the Student Board sets prior to the collection date,” O’Doherty said. With this in mind, she went on to say that the first and last collection dates were when the most money was counted.
In recent years, Marian girls have been bringing in more and more money, in 2015, the student body had collected the most money in WAT history. This year, Marian girls were told that they raised $125,000, but when talking to Mrs. O’Doherty, she said that it was a number that was rounded down.
It isn’t always a serious counting task, Mrs. O’Doherty said things like, “checks filled out with highlighters and bags of coins,” always make her laugh. So, while counting money may be a sizable task, she and her crew take a seat, have a doughnut, and get right to work.