Seaside High School’s traditional Winter Week filled with festivities adopted a more philanthropic tone this school year as student leaders simultaneously hosted their Dollars for Doernbecher fundraiser, bringing in more than $1,500 for the Portland-based children’s hospital.
By mixing the fundraiser with Winter Week, junior class president Xcaret Bello said, “It kind of gave it a purpose,” beyond dressing up and decorating doors.
Fundraising efforts kicked off Dec. 14 with a “money run” during a school-wide assembly, which raised $63 and built momentum in a mere few minutes of Associated Student Body and class officers running through the crowd. During Winter Week, from Dec. 17 to 21, they conducted several fundraising activities that both students and community members could participate in.
“I was nervous when we made the goal $1,500,” student body vice president Shelbylee Rhodes said.
What they received from the get-go, however, was school-based and community support in spades.
“That’s what really got us in motion, just seeing how ready the community was to help us and how much they cared,” Rhodes said. “We weren’t alone in this.”
By mid-week, the students were more than halfway to their goal. By the end, they had surpassed the $1,500, although students leaders did not expect to have an exact total until after winter break.
Raising money for pediatric care
One successful fundraising activity featured about 200 red Christmas ornaments bearing the school’s logo, which student leaders sold for $5 apiece at lunch each day, at a Seaside City Council meeting, during the Holiday Classic Tournament games, and on an individual basis. Even after covering the cost of the ornaments, the students were able to donate approximately $4 per ornament in proceeds to the children’s hospital.
For another activity, community members were invited to make free-throws during the Holiday Classic games held in Seaside. Everyone who made their shot received one ticket per $1 donated to be entered into a drawing for one of three baskets, brimming with gift cards and other items donated by local businesses. Anyone who wanted to enter the drawing without attempting a free-throw could have Seaside’s Everest Sibony or Lilli Taylor, talented freshmen basketball players, take the shot for them. The drawing winners were announced during the boys’ championship game Saturday, Dec. 22.
Additionally, the fundraiser included a punch wall set up at the high school. During lunch, students could pay $1 to punch through paper-covered compartments in the wall in hopes of finding the hidden prize.
Each school year, the high school’s ASB officers select different goals that address needs at the school level, community level, and national level. Dollars for Doernbecher was their national goal for the 2018-19 school year. The children’s hospital was chosen as the beneficiary for the “amazing” healthcare services they provide pediatric patients, Rhodes said. She also registered the school with Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Kids Making Miracles philanthropy program.
Cookies, karaoke and Christmas
Although the Doernbecher fundraiser was a new endeavor this year, Winter Week is a longstanding tradition at the high school. The five school days leading up to winter break included a classroom door-decorating contest and karaoke in the cafeteria at lunch. The ASB officers also covered the cost of ingredients for the culinary arts program to bake cookies that were delivered to each student.
“We wanted to make (the school) feel homey,” Rhodes said, adding they wished to counteract how rough the holiday season can be for some people. “Christmas shouldn’t be sad.”
What made both Winter Week and Dollars for Doernbecher successful, according to Rhodes, was the extensive involvement from not only the ASB leadership but also class officers. Each class took responsibility for one element—such as the free-throw contest, delivering cookies, or selling ornaments — and worked hard from start to finish to see the task through, Rhodes said. Not only were the class officers actively involved, but the fundraiser was also well-received by the entire school.
“It’s nice to see students care,” Bello said.