By J1 reporter Emma Roth
“What is one word to describe your Walk-A-Thon planning experience?”
“Stressful.” Student Board Vice President Mallory Grote said.
Walk-A-Thon (WAT) is Student Board’s most cherished and essential student organized fundraiser. Grote was the mastermind behind 2016’s successful WAT, bringing in about $125,000, although the school goal was only $90,000. It is tradition on the Board that whoever is elected student body Vice President is in charge of WAT.
Though Grote is the main student chair of this fundraiser, the whole Board along with co-moderators, Mr. Andrew and Mrs. Ashley Bauer, play a huge role in making the dream of reaching $90,000 a reality.
When girls are thankful for Field Day season ending in April, WAT season is just beginning for Student Board (StuBo). Months of planning between administration and StuBo begins in early June. Together they establish school and class goals, the structure of the fundraiser, and a minimum donation each girl must bring in to give back to her school.
Since it is a WALK-A-Thon, StuBo had to create an efficient walking route so almost 700 girls won’t be walking along the side of Military Avenue at the same time.
During the summer, multiple StuBo meetings were held to stuff envelopes with donor letters and call companies on their “donated in past years” list. Sophomore StuBo member Bailey Hanus said, “Each member follows and knows the calling script by heart. Though it may not be the quickest and most fun activity we do all year, it’s so rewarding to call a company that is willing to donate to our school. So many people are crazy generous.”
StuBo provides free shirts for the student body that are designed to follow the theme. Each year there is a different WAT pun included, this years theme was Red, WAT, and Blue: Going for Gold. Companies that are willing to donate $500 or more are guaranteed their logo on the back of the shirts.
According to junior StuBo Communications Liaison Lily Heim, “Getting your class motivated to bring money is the most challenging part.” Each class has a different goal based on the amount of girls in the grade. No matter the dollar amount, each class strives to exceed it.
StuBo does not only raffle off gift cards and extremely convenient parking spots, but they also give away Kate Spade merchandise. This year, the Nebraska Crossing Outlets donated multiple designer wallets, planners, and purses. For girls who bring in the minimum, their names are entered into a raffle for the gift cards and parking spots. If they brought in $150 or more, their name was entered into the Kate Spade raffle.
As Mr. Bauer says, “If you invest in your school, your school will invest in you.”