Walk-A-Thon Creates Controversy

By J1 Reporters Marin Krenzer and Elleiana Green

Juniors Anna Schmidt, Lauren Ali, and Katie Sulentic participating in the junior car wash, one of the many forms of alternative fundraising this year

Bombarded by first day jitters, the students of Marian sat in their first block of the year, nervous about new protocols for COVID-19, and trying to adjust to the new schedules. Within minutes of the first announcement of the 2020-2021 school year, the school was already announcing Walk-A-Thon, overwhelming the students even more. Unsurprisingly, the news of a student-led fundraiser in the midst of a global pandemic was met by many different opinions among students regarding the safety of fundraising and the timing of it all.

“Adjusting to school in the middle of the pandemic was hard enough, but going out of the way to raise money within the first weeks back posed a great challenge this year,” responded Marian junior, Maddie Mullen, when asked how she felt about Walk-A-Thon. 

Many questions arose about how to fundraise during the time of a global pandemic when so many people were out of jobs. Not only this, but many students preferred fundraising by going door-to-door in neighborhoods, but this did not seem like the safest option, even with a mask on. “Although I love Walk-A-Thon, and I love that I get to take part in raising money for tuition assistance,” Maddie said, “I just wish we could’ve fundraised later in the school year when things calm down.” 

Student safety was always the number one priority and the Student Board Co-Moderator, Ms. Jessica Abel, made sure students felt safe throughout the entire process. 

From the beginning of summer, Marian administration and administrators across the globe had been debating whether it would be safe to reopen schools this fall. By the time August rolled around, school was set to be back in session and the fundraising ideas had started long before then. Despite students’ worries about door-to-door donations, Abel said the majority of the donations were given online this year, as opposed to in person. She also did not receive complaints or safety concerns from parents throughout the entire fundraising process. Abel also mentioned that the administration had stated they had no expectations for the final total of Walk-A-Thon, but in the end, they were blown away with what the students were able to achieve. Marian’s goal this year was to raise $90,000, however, the final outcome was a total of $70,000. Even though some students felt overwhelmed with fundraising, the end result proved that safely raising money for tuition assistance could be done and the administration could not have been prouder of the outcome. 

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