2017-10-20 / Front Page

Students rally for relief

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer


Scarborough High School freshmen Alison Kueck and Josh Lane, at left, and classmates organized a fundraiser to benefit a high school in Florida that was damaged during Hurricane Irma. This was the second effort for hurricane victims Scarborough students participated in. Students at Wentworth School and Scarborough Middle School recently took part in a collection drive for middle school students impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. (Courtesy photos) Scarborough High School freshmen Alison Kueck and Josh Lane, at left, and classmates organized a fundraiser to benefit a high school in Florida that was damaged during Hurricane Irma. This was the second effort for hurricane victims Scarborough students participated in. Students at Wentworth School and Scarborough Middle School recently took part in a collection drive for middle school students impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. (Courtesy photos) While their classmates were rooting for the Red Storm during the Sept. 29 Homecoming football game, Scarborough High School freshmen Eliana Goodman, Alison Kueck and Josh Lane were rallying for a much different cause: hurricane relief.

After hearing about the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma, which hit the west coast of Florida in early September, Goodman, Kueck and Lane couldn’t just sit idle and knew they had to do something to help.

Kueck said she was driving with her family back from New York looking at weather reports on her phone as the storm, which according to Time caused $83 billion in damages, was making landfall and immediately felt compelled to do something to help.

“Her feeling was ‘I can’t just sit here and watch these weather reports and not help these people,’” Goodman said of Kueck. “So we decided to raise money to support a school that was affected by the hurricane.”

Kueck did some research and eventually settled on Lehigh Senior High School in Lehigh Acres, Florida – just outside Fort as the school she wanted to help.

“I read about the damage done to it and read about the teachers and students and it seemed like a really good school,” Kueck said, adding as a result of the hurricane the school had windows that had blown out, tree branches that crashed into classrooms and portables that had flipped over and were destroyed.

Kueck reached out to building principal Jackie Corey via email and much to her surprise two days later Corey responded graciously accepting any aid the Scarborough students were willing to give.

Originally the trio wanted to hold a bake sale at the homecoming football game, but school officials nixed the ideas because it would interfere with the concession stand and pose potential food allergy risks. The group decided to simply set up a donation table, a proposal that was quickly accepted by school and athletic department heads. The students passed out a paper crane, a symbol of hope and peace, with every donation.

Kueck has been making the cranes since seventh grade and had “a couple hundred” lying around the house.

The group raised $255, including $20 from three third-graders from Wentworth School. While Goodman said many people passed the table without making eye contact, Lane said others took notice.

“A lot of people liked what we were doing and said it was a super nice thing for us to do,” Lane said.

Lane said he was proud of the effort.

“I did not think it would get this far, but I am glad it did. I have friends down there who are like family. I am glad we were able to raise some money. It was a devastating hurricane,” Lane said.

“It made me feel good to see my friends work so hard on something that meant a lot to them and help a school along the way,” Goodman said.

Kueck said though it spawned from an idea she had, the fundraising effort would not have been possible without Goodman, Lane and the other students who helped.

“It was definitely a group effort,” she said.

Scarborough High School Assistant Principal Gregory Applestein, who signed off on the fundraiser on behalf of the high school administration, was impressed the effort.

“I like how this happened out of their desire to help and their desire to do so because they were concerned what they were hearing on TV and the media reports,” Applestein said.

The most impressive part, he said, was it was a completely student-driven.

“When you give students the reigns, quite often they come up with something better than the adults could have imagined,” Applestein said.

Staff Writer Michael Kelley can be reached at news@scarboroughleader.com.

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