The Lightning Strike
School fundraisers on Valentine’s Day put a price on loveThursday, March 05, 2009 By CHRYSTELLE EDMA
During the week leading up to Valentine’s Day, the quad became a veritable market of love between students and club participants. While the gray cement area is usually filled with bustling students purchasing a quick slice of pizza, clubs decorated the space with bright banners to advertise their merchandise for Valentine’s Day. A phenomenon occurred: Students lingered to examine the clubs’ products, sought information about the clubs themselves and stopped to exchange humorous and hopeful love stories, all while actively supporting the school and community. "The students came together," senior Jennifer Benrey said, who helped sell singing Valentines to raise money for the Magnet Program. "It was definitely more interactive." Clubs offered a variety of goods, including red balloons inscribed "I love you," Candy-Grams, sonnets and songs, roses and love-themed fortune cookies. All of the goods were primarily sold to benefit the clubs due to the recent budget cuts, and club members felt that they were actively helping students display their fondness for others. "We’re giving people a way to express their love and affection on that day," senior Marissa Goodstone said, who blew up balloons for Students Helping Achieve Philanthropic Excellence (SHAPE). Although Valentine’s Day is often considered a commercialized holiday, most of the students strayed from typical gifts. "We sold pink fortune cookies with Valentine’s Day fortunes to spread good fortune to students who donate to Africa," Club Help Us Maintain a Nation (HUMAN) founder and president junior Maya Tzur said. "Our motto was: If you give your love good fortune, you’re giving good fortune to Africa." The sales promoted school spirit and created a light-hearted air often absent from the school. While roses were being distributed among classes, Magnet students wandered the halls, performing sonnets and songs to both students and teachers alike. "When a group of students walked into my classroom and began singing, it was definitely a sign of appreciation for all that I do for them," Anatomy & Physiology teacher Michelle Russell said. "The day was slightly chaotic, but an extremely fun outlet for students’ feelings toward each other and the faculty." Although some teachers found the day to be a disruption to the lesson, most ushered in the students with a welcoming smile. Some teachers bought Valentine’s Day gifts for their friends, creating friendly havoc by signing the cards with false names. "Although I feel the tradition of selling and giving items defeats the true meaning of the holiday," senior Hira Shabbir said, "it brings students together and creates school spirit and involvement."