Fundraisers differ from grade school to high school

By J1 Reporter Mariella Virgillito

Race For Education is an annual fundraising event held by the students at St. Pius X/St. Leo Elementary School. Grades preschool through eighth grade are actively involved in raising money for their school’s fundraiser, Race For Education. 

To raise money for their school’s textbooks, extracurricular activities and other fees, St. Pius students write letters to prospective donors, grandparents and neighbors to sponsor their event. According to Mrs. Michaela Smith, the director of Race For Education at St. Pius, their goal for this year’s fundraiser is $80,000. In past years, the students have averaged between $50,000 – $80,000 total. 

Saint Pius X/Saint Leo students enjoy snow cones after their annual Race For Education event. Photo source St Pius X / St Leo Catholic School’s website

Preparing for the big race day, the Student Board creates a list of approved incentives for the students. “One year, the students exceeded our goal so the principal sat on the roof of the building for the whole school day!” Smith said. 

On the day of the race, which will be held on May 12, 2023, the students begin to walk, run or jog around the school’s soccer field. After the race, the students participate in a celebration to recognize all of their hard work. Smith says, “The celebration after the race is the student’s favorite part of the event. They dance to the DJ while waiting in line for snow cones.”

To thank the donors, the students write a note to their sponsors to express their gratitude. 

In many ways, Omaha Marian High School’s Walk-A-Thon (WAT) fundraiser is very similar to St. Pius X/St. Leo’s race. 

Just like Race for Education, WAT is a student lead fundraiser that contributes to the school’s funds. Walk-A-Thon’s proceeds go directly back to the students to help with tuition assistance.

Senior Class Officers soak in their first place win after WAT results. Photo by Courtney Long

This year, WAT’s goal was $100,000. To reach this goal, students hold bake sales, restaurant give back nights and more. Many students ask for donations from family members, friends or neighbors. 

Similar to Pius, the Student Board organizes incentives for the school which might include a new parking spot, dunking your least favorite teacher in a dunk tank or receiving a day off from school. 

After one month of raising money as a race between all four classes, the results are tabulated moments before the students begin the actual walk. The results are determined by the percentage of your grade’s goal earned. Depending on the scores, the grades in first and second place walk a smaller distance than those in  third and fourth place. These results also determine the order for Color Block, which is related to Marian Field Day. 

Although both of these fundraisers have many similarities, one major difference is the level of competition. 

St. Pius X/St. Leo alum and now junior at Marian, Caitlyn Dunham compares her grade school and high school fundraising experience. “There was not nearly as much excitement and eagerness towards bringing in money at Pius than at Marian,” Dunham said. She explained the determination of Marian students due to the competition between classes.

No matter how the funds are raised, Catholic schools and fundraising go hand-in-hand.

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