By J1 Reporter Kate Kellen
Dozens of doughnuts, plenty of pizza, fountains of fondue, and crazy amounts of candy can mean only one thing: Walk-A-Thon bake sales. Bake sales, and other fundraising methods, are a popular part of Marian culture, but they haven’t always been around. Now almost 30 years after the start of Walk-A-Thon, students are raising money in more creative ways.
For decades Marian students only went door-to-door and tried to collect money, but when an unspeakable tragedy occurred and disrupted their ability to collect money, they had to get creative. Following Sept. 9, 2001 many United States citizens donated to organizations helping in New York. Due to the fact that they were donating to help people affected by 9/11, they told many Marian girls that they could not afford to donate to Marian as well.
Marian girls are stubborn and creative, and they didn’t let anything stop them from reaching their goal. The Walk-A-Thon of 2002 was legendary. The girls made the majority of their money through garage sales, bake sales, and car washes.
Since 2002 there have been changes and advances in the ways in which Marian girls have raised money for their class. The first documented restaurant fundraiser was in 2005. Junior Peyton Wagner said she believes that, “[Restaurant fundraisers] are a chance for friends and families to have a great time all while helping raise money.” Different restaurants such as Raising Cane’s, Arby’s, and Chipotle generously donate a certain percentage of the money earned that night to Marian.
The Walk-A-Thon of 2006 was described as “not your average fundraiser” by Marian’s yearbook. Girls used dance parties to raise money, held meetings in the quad to fire up their class, and it was even mentioned that they had “illegal” bake sales. It appears that Marian girls only continue to get more creative and successful in their fundraising methods.
The following year, 2007, was known for its successful bake sales. The yearbook reported that each class raised at least $500 from their bake sales alone, but what they sold fought it to legendary status. Girls brought in the simple things such as brownies and cookies, but things such as puppy chow, pizza, and chocolate fondue sold quicker and for more money. Sophomore Lauren Phillips said, “bake sales are the best part of raising money for Walk-A-Thon! As long as there is puppy chow and lots of chocolate, you can’t go wrong.”
Many Marian girls can not imagine their lives without bakes sales. Junior Megan Rutten said, “Walk-A-Thon without bake sales and restaurant fundraisers would be horrible. I can’t imagine not eating enough sweets to make me sick during Walk-A-Thon season.” Thanks to the creativity and persistence of Marian girls through the years, fundraising has become easier and tastier.