The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

January 24, 2013

A-Tech students and staff help make holidays brighter for needy families

Star Beacon

JEFFERSON — The Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus held a holiday community service project to assist A-Tech families who were experiencing financial hardships during the holiday season. Through the generous efforts of the students, staff and administration the holidays were brighter for 12 A-tech families consisting of a total of 55 people, 11 of whom were children under the age of 10.

Although the primary goal was to share some of our blessings to others in need, we also had some fun with the fund-raising. The project became a competition between the junior and senior class to see which group could raise the most money. Contests included a “Spirit Chain,” that added links to a chain each time a donation was received, and a “pie-in-the-face” contest.

The “pie-in-the-face” fund-raiser is always a favorite of the students at A-Tech. Held annually, students contribute $1 to purchase a ticket for the event. Then, they are able to pick from a group of teachers and administrators and drop their ticket in one basket, essentially casting their vote for that individual to receive the good-humored pie. At the end of the week, Brian Kimmel, an instructional coordinator, picks several tickets during each of three lunch periods. Lucky students who have their ticket picked at random get to throw a harmless, but hilarious pie at the teacher or staff member who received the most votes throughout the week.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Leilany Pagen, Public Safety Academy senior. “I think every school should participate in activities like this because it is a great way to raise money for families.”

This year’s total donations reached $988.74, which was an improvement of more than $414 over last year’s total. These fantastic results are a reflection of the determination of the staff and students at A-Tech. In addition to the cash donation, we were also able to purchase $600 in gift cards to Giant Eagle to donate to the families.

Jon Whipple, principal of A-Tech, said, “I am always impressed with how generous our students are and the enthusiasm that is brought in. The students who worked the spirit chain fund-raiser put in a lot of energy and effort, which really helped raise all of the money... This is the best that the spirit chain has ever done in years past.”

A-Tech also incorporated a canned food drive. Participating labs organized themselves into three teams. Team Charlie Brown, which included Business Tech 1-2, Computer Networking and Public Safety, raised 405 cans. Team Frosty, consisting of Cosmetology 1-2, Health Care A. 1-2, Drafting 1-2 and Early Childhood 1-2, raised 3,122 cans. Team Rudolph, Culinary Arts 1-2 and Power Tech 2, raised 905 cans making 4,432 of canned foods in total. Culinary Arts students Mackenzie Compton, Teyonna Vaux and Julianna Hanes were all excited to take part in the fund-raiser. “Seeing how happy the people are when you are delivering the food is like nothing else,” Vaux said. “It’s great to help out! We had many gracious donations.” The atmosphere at A-Tech is very much like that of a family. We help each other out when someone is in need. It is not just one group who participates, such as only the teachers or only the students. We are all on the same team with everything we do.