Students at the Center for Advanced Research and Technology’s Hospitality and Event Management recently donated almost $8,900 to seven local charities. They raised the money through fundraisers that they planned and executed themselves. It was the first year that a project like this had been done at the school and quickly became a new favorite.
“Our students learned so much from participating in this project,” said Rachel Kuhtz, who teaches economics, finance, and hospitality and event management at CART. “From researching nonprofits to working as a team to plan a successful event. Students learned to collect and account for funds and the importance of business ethics. Event planning and volunteer management were also central to the success of this project.”
When finance teacher Bruce Hoffman gave students the assignment, he also gave all seven teams a goal - $1,500 a team. He knew that was asking a lot, but he wanted to motivate them and that he did. Just six weeks later they had raised $8,889.
“I didn’t want them to think small, I wanted them to think big, and they did a phenomenal job,” Hoffman said.
Students held a variety of fundraisers - everything from collecting coats and toys to holding a dinner and silent auction. One group even sold hot cocoa during the cold winter months in order to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“I really wanted to do Make-A-Wish, because my mom, when she was younger, they sent her best friend to Hawaii a couple weeks before she passed away,” said Sydney Washburn, 17, a junior at Gateway High School. “Because my family had had a personal experience with Make-A-Wish, I wanted to give back to an organize I trusted.”
Other non-profits to benefit from CART students’ fundraising efforts were Art of Life Cancer Foundation, Toys for Tots, Salvation Army, Valley Animal Center, Susan G. Komen, and the CART Foundation.
The team that raised the most money donated $4,521 to Art of Life Cancer Foundation. The team picked this organization because of its vast effects.
“Everyone knows someone who has had cancer and its different than just finding a cure for cancer, it’s healing through creative expression,” said Nicole Tow, 18, a senior at Clovis North.