RACINE — In light of Thanksgiving, students and staff at Walden III middle and high school collected 600 boxes of food and a total of $11,262.44 to donate to the Racine County Food Bank. This included last-minute donations that were collected during their schoolwide assembly.
Within six school days, home groups at the school challenged each other to see who could tally the largest contribution, with the overall goal to give back to those in need this holiday.
Walden III Student Government played vital role
The Student Government at Walden III was monumental in guiding the school to victory. On Nov. 22, an assembly took place in the fieldhouse, 2340 Mohr Ave., to unveil the final totals.
The 600 boxes of food will support families in need for one month.
As an alumni himself, Mayor Cory Mason was grinning ear to ear with pride and noted that he felt inspired. The Mayor is also the father to Amelia and Eleanor, who are both students at the school who were involved in the collection.
During the assembly, students and staff heard from Mayor Mason.
“Thanksgiving is about many things about celebrations of family,” he said. “It’s about raising money for your community. But it’s really also about gratitude and being thankful for what you have and I can’t tell you how inspiring it is for me as your Mayor, to see all of you working on what inspires you to be grateful to give back to the community.”
Mason returned to the event for the first time in person since COVID-19 forced the event to operate via drive-thru.
“There’s a quote from a person named Margaret Mead. She’s an anthropologist, but I always think about it when I come to this event. The quote says ‘Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world, because it’s the only thing that ever really has,'” said Mason. “
Presenting the check
An oversized check was presented to Dan Taivalkoski the Executive Director of the Racine County Food Bank during the school assembly.
“I get emotional every year when you call me here because this is just huge for us. It’s unbelievable what you guys do for us,” said Taivalkoski.
This school in Racine Unified School District has been the second largest contributor to the Racine County Food Bank for the third year running. The Executive Director explained the mail carriers across the county rank as number 1. Nevertheless, their donations are unremarkable.
“If I’m looking at the future of our community, out here in this crowd, I think we’re in very good hands,” said Taivalkoski.
In addition to the announcements, during the event, Student Government President and Senior, Maren DeSonia, announced the classrooms that made the most improvements, raised the most food items, monetary donations and more.
Awards were given to both middle and high school home groups and tug of war was played to declare a winner between the middle and high schools.
Additionally, the student government did a last-minute challenge calling the boys and girls in the school to empty their pockets just one more time. Student Government representatives made their way through the sea of students with buckets to collect donations.
The girls ended up collecting more than the boys, but together they came together, raising an extra $319.44 to add to their original total of $10,927.
Teachers got a taste of sweet victory as pies were smashed in their faces. This incentive wrapped up the event and congratulated the students’ successful campaign.
“We worked together and in the end, we challenged the community,” said DeSonia. “This is a big fundamental tradition for us.”
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