Different Kinds of Donations for WAT

By J1 Reporter Martha Engel

If you were at Marian on Sept. 30, you would have seen the spectacle that is Walk-A-Thon. Walk-A-Thon, referred to as WAT, is the only all-school student-led fundraiser at the school, and Marian girls raise thousands of dollars each year. All of this money goes directly to support the tuition assistance program, which provides for current and future students to attend Marian. 

This year, the student body raised more than $120,000 over the month of September, with each class achieving more than 100% of their goals. Students are encouraged to bring in more than $60, with extra incentives for more than $200. 

Mrs. Teresa Volkmann counts change in the Advancement Office. Marian Students donated loose change to the Walk-A-Thon fundraiser (but this change actually came from the vending machine). Photo by junior Martha Engel.

These incentives push students to participate, requiring them to raise money. There are countless ways to fundraise, from car washes, to bake sales, to cash donations. One popular way to raise money for WAT is to go door-to-door in neighborhoods, and the introduction of online portals has made electronic donations easier. This year, half of the donations brought in were online. This is more than any other year in the past, and indicates that the use of online donations will continue to grow. The methods of cash and online each have their own benefits, and both ways help students contribute to the overall school goal. 

For freshman Lucy Mendenhall, raising money for WAT was easier with physical money. She decided that she would “walk around the neighborhood, and ask people for donations,” which turned out to be a successful tactic for her. She raised more than $200 by simply asking neighbors for money. Mendenhall found that online donations took too long to set up when on a doorstep, and opted to bring in her money in another way. She said that, “when I was walking around, my neighbors would give me cash.” She got almost all of her money this way, and door-to-door efforts earned her a free day off of school. For many students like Mendenhall, neighborhood donations can contribute largely to the all-school goal, and even help achieve these extra incentives. 

This year’s online donations portal, featuring a total sum collected prior to the last collection. Electronic donations contributed to half of the money raised in Walk-A-Thon. Photo by junior Martha Engel

The more recent addition of online portals and electronic donations has streamlined the process of donation, and encouraged out of state friends and relatives to participate. Freshman Bridget Finnegan decided to contact out-of-state relatives, and raised more than $250 for her class. “I sent an email out to my extended family, and most of them donated, too.” Finnegan also was able to earn a day off of school, but in a different way. She used the electronic donations website to help her raise money, an easy way to help the school achieve the goal. 

Whether cash or online, raising money for Walk-A-Thon is a tradition that each Marian girl experiences during her tenure in high school. Both of these freshmen, though new to the school, contributed to the class goal in different ways and illustrate how Walk-A-Thon fundraising requires students to be creative and good representatives of Marian. 

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