Bonita Raises $200 for Haiti Relief Fund, One-Tenth of the Way Toward $2,000 Fundraising Goal

January 21, 2010
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Members of the Haiti Relief Fund spread across the Bonita campus to distribute collection jugs and raise awareness of the current campaign to help Haiti in its time of crisis.

Members of the Haiti Relief Fund spread across the Bonita campus to distribute collection jugs and raise awareness of the current campaign to help Haiti in its time of crisis.

The story below reflects the Haiti relief drive spearheaded by students on the Bonita High School campus. On the first day of the drive, approximately $200 was raised toward the overall goal of $2,000.  See the story below for more details and information on how you can support and participate in this humanitarian effort. The editor



Over the next three weeks on the Bonita High School campus, students will probably learn more about Haiti’s catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake and the hundreds of thousands left dead and homeless by the devastating temblor than about Shakespeare, Pythagoras, Darwin and Madame Curie combined.

That’s because beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 20 and running through February, the campus is conducting an all-out blitz to raise relief funds for the disaster-stricken island, located some 750 miles off the Florida coast. The fundraising goal is $2,000.

‚ÄúWe‚Äôre going to get there,‚ÄĚ said Interact President Kelsey Graeber, who together with Interact Vice President¬†Dana Meshkin, helped organize Bonita‚Äôs response by summarily calling and texting other campus leaders over the Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend to answer Haiti‚Äôs¬†desperate call for humanitarian aid. Both are also members of senior class council on campus.haiti2

On Tuesday, about 20 student leaders volunteered for specific roles and assignments to spearhead the overall fundraising effort. The scope and breadth of fundraising initiatives are impressive, ranging from deploying huge change jugs around campus to selling T-shirts to hosting a pancake breakfast.

For the next five home basketball games, students will ply the stands with oversized water bottles asking for donations. On Friday, Feb. 3, students will dress in red in support of “Recognize Relief,¬†Ring the¬†Rock‚ÄĚ day on campus. ¬†‚ÄúThe hope is to just circle the rock and have people share what they know is going on and the support they‚Äôve given and why they feel called to help,‚ÄĚ said Graeber, a senior who plans to study political science or environmental sustainability in college.

There will also be a reflection wall outside the main campus for students to post notes and sundry news items. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôll be a place for students to affirm their support and raise general awareness of the crisis in Haiti,‚ÄĚ said Graeber. As well, there will be an electronic wall for Facebook postings.

In addition, some of the money raised during Stress Week (Jan. 25-29) activities will be directed to Bonita‚Äôs Haitian relief efforts. It‚Äôs likely that more than the usual number of teachers will sacrifice their faces and bodies at the ‚Äúpie-in-the-face‚ÄĚ and dunk tank booths, all for a good cause. ‚ÄúI think those two activities will be over-subscribed this year,‚ÄĚ said math teacher and student advisor Dana Renquist.

Awareness of Bonita‚Äôs fundraising campaign will also spill over into the community, with several ‚Äúchange vessels‚ÄĚ (yes, that what the students are calling them) taking up counter space at local businesses, government offices, churches and other key collection points.

Our local students helping others in need has become something of a La Verne tradition. When Graeber and Meshkin were in the 7th grade at Ramona Middle School, they helped organize a bake sale in the aftermath of the December 2004 Indian earthquake and tsunami that killed roughly 230,000 people. That effort raised $500.

With the community’s help and that same determination, the $2,000 fundraising goal for Haiti should be another piece of cake.

Anyone wishing to purchase tickets for the pancake breakfast on Feb. 6 or to help work the event, please contact Megan Baker at Another way to give is to help fill the collection jar now placed in the front office at Bonita High School. As more events, dates and details become available for all Haitian relief fund events scheduled, will post them.

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