Organizing Haiti benefit a stressful, rewarding experience

Posted: Monday, February 22, 2010

The recent earthquake in Haiti had a devastating effect on millions of people all across the world. Despite government issues and feuding countries we sucked it up and partnered with many nations to help aid in the relief effort for Haiti. Such charity events were scattered throughout America, with everyone coming together for benefits that contributed their proceeds to helping, in any way they could, a country torn apart by an incredible disaster.

Photo Courtesy Of Katie Clonan
Photo Courtesy Of Katie Clonan

Skyview High School knew right away it wanted to join in and help any way possible. Whatever students could do to help raise money for the citizens of Port-Au-Prince was the goal. The student government paired with the help of the National Honor Society, and together brainstormed ideas of how to raise money. Common ideas such as bake sales, benefit dances and concerts, among many, were tossed around. Eventually, NHS and student council member Jaxon Hill brought up the idea of an open house. The open house would combine all the ideas, yet involve more fun and interesting activities that would entertain all of the participants.

A community oriented night was now the goal. Open to all ages, the open house would have plenty of activities for families, yet also would consist of games and entertainment for teens and youth. The group set a goal of $2,000 and started planning. Eventually with the help of many volunteers and school staff, lots of time and effort on everyone's part and dedication of student council and NHS, a date was set and the school was ready for what they hoped would be an amazing fundraiser.

The generous chaperones and volunteers helped greatly, and the students involved were essential to pulling off the event. We all knew in the back of our minds this was for charity, and it helped to make us more driven than ever before to reach the goal. The night of the benefit soon arrived and even with stressing last minute details, we pulled off an awesome event.

The open house was definitely a hit for the community; we couldn't have pulled it off without the generous help of the community and kind donations from the public.

A definite highlight of the night was the movie we had going with a bit of an interesting twist -- the pool was open for free swim, but it also had the movie "Finding Nemo" projected on the wall, which attracted many children and families. The goal of the 'Dive In' was to attract many people for a main event, and it did just that. Around 5:30 p.m. when the movie was scheduled to start, participants, who before were trickling in, began to flood into the pool area and made that part of the night a great success.

Other activities included a live band. As soon as the band started their set they accumulated a large audience, and helped the main area of the open house fill with people. It didn't add just background noise, but gave an incredible focal point to people playing games in the vicinity.

All in all, the event couldn't have gone better. The monetary goal we had was forgotten, because we knew any money we earned that night would go straight to helping Haiti -- still with a substantial profit we made, we knew we had reached our goal of being able to aid in the relief efforts for Haiti.

An even higher goal of pulling off the stressful yet extremely rewarding, night was met with ease. Smiles on all the faces of attendants as they left made volunteers and students realize the event couldn't have gone better. And as the students and volunteers, accompanied with smiles as well, left that night, we kept Haiti in our hearts and patted ourselves on the back.

We pulled it off Skyview; we helped a nation that desperately needed us.

This is the opinion of Brooke Hughes. Hughes is a sophomore at Skyview High School.

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