By J1 Reporter Madi Shaffar
For most students returning to school in the fall, the month of September is sometimes dreaded. But for the students at Marian, September is the month of their school-wide Walk-A-Thon (WAT) fundraiser.
Starting this year’s events with Kick-Off Block on Aug 25, all four classes competed against one another to see who could make the most money, all of which goes to tuition assistance for students. Even though all of the money raised goes to that common cause, this is a Marian event, which means that there’s at least some sense of class competition.
From give back nights to bake sales to walking door-to-door in their neighborhoods, every Marian girl had the opportunity to get involved and help their class reach their individual goals, as well as the school-wide goal of $100,000.
Class officers were primarily responsible for getting their classes excited to compete with the others, as well as organizing different ways to fundraise that could top the other classes. Because the freshmen had not yet elected their class officers, it was up to their two class moderators, Ms. Halli Tripe and Ms. Esther Hamra, to get the class involved in the fundraising.
Freshman Elsa Barrett said that when it came to stepping up to help her class with WAT, she was “not really sure what to do since there are no Class Officers and it was my first WAT. To help my class be successful, I went around and asked people for money, helped at the car wash, donated, made baked goods for the bake sale, and encouraged everybody to donate as well as educated them on why we are doing this.” Barrett said it was also a “great class bonding experience and we had a lot of pride in ourselves from knowing we reached our class goal.” Even though the freshmen had no formal Class Officers, every student had the opportunity to get involved in the fundraising activities and have an exciting first WAT.
Sophomore Aubrey Thompson got to experience her first Walk-A-Thon as a Class Officer. “I was really able to take some responsibility this year to push my class to meet 100% of our goal and to get the money we needed,” Thompson said. “I enjoy knowing that the money we raise goes to making sure that anyone can experience our unique Marian community.”
The sophomores, along with all of the other classes, did meet their individual goals by the end of the donation period.
Junior Class Officer Caitlyn Dunham was motivated by “being able to see the whole class come together and work as a team to achieve our goal. It makes both each class and the school as a whole feel more like a family when we all work for the same cause.”
This ability to create unity between a single class and the entire school community is what makes Walk-A-Thon so special at Marian.
Senior Class Officer Cecilia Regan was motivated by “the competition and wanting to go all out for our last WAT. We all get so competitive and push each other to make more money, which benefits everyone in the end.”
Each class had their own ways of making money that would set them apart from the others. The seniors sold canvas bags, mini Bundt cakes, Squishmallow raffle tickets, and stickers while some juniors sold donuts and coffee at different grade school soccer and volleyball games. The sophomores persistently sold tickets for their raffle baskets every morning before school while the freshmen talked to anyone whom they thought would be willing to donate to their cause.
Although each class had their own special ways to fundraise and improve their class pride, they were all united by the goal of ensuring more affordable tuition for all Marian students.
Marian girls are also driven to raise more because of the added incentive of Field Day. Whichever order the classes finish in at the end of WAT is the order in which the classes will pick their themes and colors on the day of Color Block. It is pretty obvious that Field Day is one of the most important events of the year for Marian girls, so the push to raise more money is made even more important when it could change a class’ chances of getting the theme and colors they want.
Without the early Field Day competition, the eagerness to see who will get first place and who will walk two miles instead of four on Sept 30, Walk-A-Thon would not be as successful and important as it is today.