By Lukas Eggen
Ely Times Staff Writer
White Pine High School students took over Margaritas for a night in a special fundraiser held last Thursday. The event raised $800 for the Ely Breast Cancer Fund. Led by the school’s student council, the fundraising event entered its second year.
“I think the Ely Breast cancer Fund Margaritas Take Over was phenomenal this year,” teacher Melany Johnson said. “The support and generosity that we received from the community was amazing. Most of the students had experience from last year and from many of our catering events.
“The students were very eager to help this year and Margaritas was prepared for us. Margo and Jorge were great and are supportive of the students’ efforts.”
Attending and/or helping with the event was not required. But with dozens of students there helping to bus food to tables, students said they enjoyed the evening and raising money for a cause they believed in and excited to see the event grow in its second year.
“It was fun getting to work with everyone,” student Taylor Pickens said. “It was a good experience…It does feel good knowing that we raised that much in one night. It’s better than last year, so we’re doing something right.”
As the students helped serve food throughout the evening, the community showed interest in learning about and helping their cause.
“People would ask us why are there so many kids and we would tell them what we were doing and they really liked the cause,” student Cassidy Poulsen said.
The idea for the fundraiser began during the 2012 school year. From there, the students helped plan and organize the event with many of the same students helping to organize this year’s event as well. And the results were encouraging as the community helped support the cause in larger numbers than the previous year, Johnson said.
“I hate to admit the fundraiser was not my brainchild; another school sent us the idea last year and the kids jumped on it,” Johnson said. “Last year, we raised $500 through this event for the Ely Breast Cancer Fund. This year, we raised $800. The event is close to all of our hearts as many of us have loved ones who are breast cancer survivors.”
The take over of Margaritas isn’t the only fundraising event the student council is involved in. The students helped put on the Zumba Party, which raised even more funds for the Ely Breast Cancer Fund.
“They are also assisting with the Zumba party on Oct. 24 in the hopes of raising more money for the Ely Breast Cancer Fund,” Johnson said.
The student council is also involved with various other projects throughout the year to benefit the high school and the community. While that kind of selflessness may seem rare, for Johnson’s students, that caring is a common occurrence.
“Honestly, I have a great group of kids,” Johnson said. “They work hard at putting on events for the school, but they also stock a food pantry to assist fellow students who may need food. They fundraise and donate to fellow students who experience hard times and commit to providing continued support when necessary.”
As White Pine High School students look to their next project this school year, working with classmates at Margaritas was a fun and rewarding time for the students who participated. And while they enjoyed each other’s company, doing something for a good cause helped make the evening special for everyone involved, Pickens said.
“I just think the whole experience was a great experience,” Pickens said. “Getting to work with the student council and the community was nice. It feels good to be looked up to and have people think oh, they’re actually doing something good for the community.”