By AUTUMN HAZELET – Teddy Bear Fund Drive has another record year. This year, the Indiana Area Senior High School broke its own record for the largest single contribution to the Teddy Bear Fund Drive. Surpassing any and all expectations, the grand total for 2016 was over $7,000 more than that of 2015.
The Student Government Association at IHS, sponsored by history teacher Michael Bertig, raised $20,700 during the holiday season through a variety of fundraising activities in and around the senior high. Bertig has coordinated the TBFD fundraising for the past nine years, and each year has brought new activities and events that continue to raise more and more funds for the charity.
The students involved in SGA put in a great deal of time and energy to help make the event a success year after year. “We hold the Trick-or-Trot 5K, bake sales, sell popcorn, arrange Activity Day, a raffle, the fundraiser at Hoss’s, and the Chipotle fundraiser.” says senior Yasmin Ali. “We also collect donations at sporting events, and the senior class ran hot chocolate sales after school.”
Activity Day features the teacher-student Variety Show on the last day of school before winter break, a favorite by far for both the students in the audience and those bravely participating.
“Activity Day is my favorite event because the whole day is dedicated to engaging the students in contributing to TBFD,” adds Ali, an overall chair for TBFD, along with fellow senior Alex Fefolt.
Having raised locally more than $100,000 overall for the fourth straight year, the 37th Teddy Bear Fund Drive, sponsored by Renda Broadcasting, was once again a major success and holds even more promise for the years to come giving hope to countless children in need.
SGA President and senior Margaux Marcus agrees stating, “Teddy Bear Fund Drive gets the entire school involved in a charity that benefits kids just like them but are less fortunate. I think it shows kids just how lucky they really are and that they should take a step back and be thankful for that.”
Marcus continues, “All of the money is going to the IRMC Pediatrics Unit and Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh,” expressing her utmost gratitude to the school and community for helping them to help others. “It’s great that the whole community gets involved and all of the work is worth it.”
And there is certainly a lot of work. SGA continuously puts in innumerable hours of hard work and relentless effort for this great cause. So many of the students, teachers, and IHS staff prove to be beyond eager for the opportunity to donate whatever they can to the TBFD and help the local children in need.
[Photo by Autumn Hazelet]
Photo caption: Senior SGA members Julia Bell and Preethi Soundararajan display the t-shirts for this year’s Teddy Bear Fund Drive.