Weekly Feature



2018-04-11 / Front Page

‘Students of the Year’ campaign sees CHS students set lofty fundraising goals

by ETHAN POWERS
Editor


Regan Haberl, left, and Megan Mayle, both sophomores at Clarence High School, are participating in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Student of the Year campaign in which competing teams try to raise the most money for advancement in blood cancer cures. Regan Haberl, left, and Megan Mayle, both sophomores at Clarence High School, are participating in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Student of the Year campaign in which competing teams try to raise the most money for advancement in blood cancer cures. Clarence High School students and staff have set their sights on some lofty fundraising goals for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and hope to change lives in the process.

Seven teams throughout Western New York are participating in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Students of the Year campaign — a philanthropy program in which high school students participate in a fundraising competition to benefit LLS.

Every dollar raised counts as one vote. The members of the team that raises the most money at the end of the seven-week competition are rewarded with $2,500 scholarships toward the college or university of his or her choice.

Megan Mayle and Regan Haberl, both sophomores at Clarence High School, jumped at the idea when Regan first heard an LLS representative speak about the initiative at a meeting of Clarence High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions group.

The theme of leadership and the significance of community involvement motivated the duo to participate. They eventually settled upon $15,000 as a fundraising goal.

“We really wanted to broaden our horizons and try to do something that we thought, at the time, seemed impossible,” said Mayle.

One way of reaching those heights has been through the students’ bevy of contacts. Mayle and Haberl noted that their phones have been attached to their hands throughout the campaign, as they’ve called and texted about everyone whose numbers they have stored.

“I feel like when you talk to someone in person or give them a call, that’s a way to personalize your message and it makes people want to donate more,” said Haberl.

Their team eagerly awaits a fundraiser at Salsarita’s, located at 4375 Transit Road, which they have planned from 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 13. Patrons from the evening who give their receipts to Mayle and Haberl will have 20 percent of their check donated to LLS and to Mayle and Haberl’s fundraising goal.

Jennifer Berndt, a math teacher at Clarence High School and the faculty adviser of SADD, is helping her daughter, Morgan, a junior at the school, to try and raise $10,000 from now until May 3.

“For her [Morgan], the campaign has really improved her ability to get out there and talk to people and make connections,” said Berndt.

Members of her team are relying on well-planned fundraisers to help them reach their goal. They have one planned from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, at Chipotle, 8020 Transit Road. Patrons can tell the cashier that they’re supporting LLS, and 50 percent of the total proceeds will be donated to the society.

Additionally, they have a craft show and basket raffle planned from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 21, at Clarence Middle School and another fundraiser set from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, April 30, at Pinot’s Palette at 9570 Transit Road.

The lessons learned from participation in the campaign may prove to stick with team members long after the final fundraising count has been tallied at a party on Thursday, May 3, at The Foundry, 1738 Elmwood Ave.

Many of the LLS supported therapies not only help blood cancer patients but are now used to treat patients with a wide range of cancers, which hits close to home for Berndt, whose mother is a survivor of breast cancer.

“I even have a student that is a cancer survivor, a junior in high school,” she said. “It’s amazing to think that this child almost died, yet here she is. This campaign really makes you much more appreciative of what’s around you.”

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