By Gaeil Farrar and LeRae Haynes
Special to the Tribune
School District 27’s poverty challenge initiated by teachers last year this time continued Saturday night with a very successful variety show and silent auction raising $8,000 for the food bank.
The adult evening held at the Ramada/Overlander Convention Centre included entertainment by Brent Morton, Samira belly dancers, Dena Baumann, Sage Trampleasure, Carmen Mutschele and Troy Forcier.
“Our event last Saturday was very successful,” says co-organizer and retired school support worker Grant MacLeod.
“We didn’t sell all of our tickets, but it was never the less, very well attended. The entertainment was great. Everyone had a good time.
“The event raised approximately $8,000, with the proceeds going to the Salvation Army food bank.”
He says the poverty challenge fundraisers continue this week with the school and district staff being asked to try and live on $26 worth of groceries a week or donating $26 to the food bank.
District staff and students have also been collecting food items this fall and have collected 7,437 food items or 1.3 tons of food to date.
An emply bowls family fundraiser is also planned for the new year, MacLeod says.
Students at Lake City Secondary are working with their teachers to make pottery bowls that will be sold filled with soup to raise funds for the food bank.
Superintendent Mark Thiessen said the vision for the poverty challenge came from district staff, and the community has “jumped all over it.”
As a school district he said they want to teach kids to be responsible.
“I think this event, with such strong modelling from our staff, sends a strong message to our kids,” Thiessen added.
“It’s important for kids to get involved with both global and local activism. Poverty isn’t just something in developing countries: we have people in our own community who struggle from day to day to put food on the table and pay rent every month. I think they have neighbours and classmates who live difficult lives.
“Sometimes we see movies and TV and we think that poor people live somewhere else. We have people here who, through no fault of their own, live in poverty. We don’t want to forget about thinking globally, but if we have a balance between the two, I think we’ve pulled it off.”