By J1 Reporter Regina Anyaegbunam
Inside the box, outside the box, some ideas just can’t be contained. This year Marian saw strategies ranging from asking family to selling stickers to class hats. “Each class thought outside of the box this year with fundraising ideas,” said student board co-moderator Ms. Jessica Abel.
This past month of September was filled with the hustle and bustle of Marian students fundraising for Walk-A-Thon (WAT), a student-led fundraiser to help fund tuition assistance. The overall task is the same, for each class to take the initiative to raise money and meet the school goal. It results in friendly competition between classes and various strategies being executed by students. A student’s graduation year determines whether the student is an “even” or an “odd.” For example, a student in the Class of 2023 would be considered an “odd.”
Junior Brynn Ullerich’s strategy was asking family and going door-to-door with friends. “It was easy, but sometimes it was kind of nerve-racking,” said Ullerich, especially when the person who opens their door seemed to be judging you and unwilling to hear about the fundraiser. “It was pretty nice though, other than that,” she said.
Ullerich said going door to door was the most effective strategy because of her success and the other success stories she had heard from classmates. Promotion of that strategy next year is another thing Ullerich would like to see in the future among all classes. “I’ve never done it until this year, but it brought in so much money.”
Sophomore Caitlyn Dunham is a class officer (CO) for the Class of 2024 and this was her first time organizing for WAT as one. Dunham enjoyed being on the forefront and having the opportunity to “hype people up” for this fun tradition. A common strategy for raising money is to send messages out to family and friends, but Dunham, who as an “even” has a cousin who is an “odd,” had some trouble with this strategy. “I would send out something in the family group chat and they would all give me trash about it.”
This didn’t bring down Dunham’s fundraising spirit, the sophomore class had other things going on including a raffle of themed baskets. The baskets were a group idea and class effort to put together. Dunham mentioned that the raffle was an “effective and fun” strategy and thought having change jars was also pretty effective. “People were more willing to give the coins in their bag than actual dollars, but obviously those coins can add up pretty quickly,” Dunham said.
The success of Walk-A-Thon relies on student strategies and class cooperation. It gives students a chance to work closely with their classmates and embody the empowerment aspect of the mission of Marian. Walk-a-Thon 2021 was a success according to many, including Abel who said, “After COVID, it was hard to get back into the swing of fundraising, but I think you guys did awesome.”
Sophomore Maddie Smith poses for a picture with her prize from the sophomore’s basket raffle. The raffle entry cost was $1 for a chance to win one of the five themed baskets. Photo By Margaret McGill.