| Apr 17, 2008

Feature Article - April 17, 2008

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Feature Article -April 17, 2008 Philanthropy initiative at Sharbot Lake High SchoolBy Jeff Green

Jackie Pressl of Leaders Today with students Dana Mika, Sarah Armstrong, Rachel Neadow, Teacher Randy McVety, Limestone District School Board chair Ann Goodfellow

The grade 10 civics class at Sharbot Lake High School has been participating in an innovative philanthropy and education program these past few weeks and the Make a Wish Foundation in Eastern Ontario has received $5,000 as the result.

The program is sponsored by the Toskan Castale Foundation, which was set up when the founders of MAC cosmetics sold their company to global cosmetics Est Lauder for millions of dollars in 1996. The foundation provides for eight classroom sessions on the goals of philanthropy and provides training for students in fundraising techniques. These skills are put to the test as the students break into groups and put together presentations seeking funding for locally-based social charities. The group that puts together the best presentation wins a prize, and what makes the program so innovative is that the prize is $5,000 in cash, donated to that charity.

The four top presentations were shown to a panel of judges, as well as a crowd of grade 9 and 10 students, at the high school cafeteria on Monday morning, April 14.

The judges included students Savannah Cronk, Sasha Spanchak, and Daniel Powell, as well as School Principal Janet Sanderson and Limestone School Board Chair Ann Goodfellow.

Jody and Jenny Lemke, Ashley Klatt, and Jennifer Cota described how local students can fight depression by working on a campaign to build schools in Africa through the “Helping Through Hope” campaign.

Sarah Armstrong, Rachel Neadow and Dana Mika promoted the “Make a Wish” Foundation, Eastern Ontario chapter that makes wishes come true for children with life-threatening conditions.

Melilssa Morrison and Brad Wilson advocated for the Central Frontenac Railway Museum, which they described as “very local and deserving bcause the museum committee has put their heart and soul into this”.

Katy Strong and Sabrina Ruttan put on a spirited pitch for the Perth Salvation Army, which, they said, “has not received a donation in over three years”.

The presentations included the use of multimedia slide shows to enhance the students’ research.

After they were completed, the judges left the room and deilberated while refreshments were served.

When they came back, the cheque was presented to Sarah Armstrong, Rachel Neadow and Dana Mika for the “Make a Wish Foundation”.

Jackie Plessl, from Leaders Today, a partner with the Toskala Foundation Youth and Philanthropy Initiative, was on hand for the event. She said “There are now 200 schools in Canada that are taking part in this program, but this one is certainly the most rural. We wanted the grade 9 students to be here because they will be taking part next year.”

The program came to Sharbot Lake High School thanks to Civics teacher Randy McVety, who said, “I have a good friend who teaches at Bayridge and he told me they had this program here, so I grabbed it.”

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