First Everest seniors pick Holy Land for class trip
October 26, 2011 - The founding class at Everest Collegiate High School had one place in mind when planning their senior trip – Jerusalem, where their faith was founded.
Freshman Emma Dietz jumps to block a pass to high school teacher Katie Hearn in Everest's Powder Puff game, one of many fund raisers for Everest’s first senior trip. Photo by Phil Custodio
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"It's a unique opportunity to help us understand our faith better and experience it in a better way," said senior Jake Stafford.
"As a Catholic school, that's where the roots of our faith are," said Hannah Terbrack, senior.
This will be Terbrack's second trip to Jerusalem – her parents went there for their honeymoon.
"Hannah was conceived in the Holy Land," said her father, Marty Terbrack. "That makes it special for us. We couldn't be more thrilled."
The students will travel to Jerusalem during Holy Week to study the foundation of their Catholic faith. The seven-day trip will include visits to Cana, Sea of Galilee, Mountain of Beatitudes, Calvary, Garden of Gethsemane, Jericho, and other sites.
"It's a fabulous opportunity," said Patrick Toohey, father of senior Annie Toohey. "Not that many people get the opportunity to walk where Jesus Christ walked, to travel to see that part of world, the cradle of civilization and Christianity."
"It's so neat, a perfect jump start to go to college," said Maura Plante, director of admissions. "I can't think of a better send-off for them."
The region is a world hot spot, but they trust the event planners to keep the group safe, Plante said.
"They're careful where they take groups – I'm confident with their safety record, and the Lord is on our side," she said.
Along with the trip, the seniors have been planning a year's worth of fund raisers.
"Lots and lots of fund raisers," Hannah said.
The senior class goal is to raise $10,000 for the trip through fish fries during Lent, pancake breakfast, rummage sale, Jeans Days Before Christmas, 50-50 raffles, Homecoming, Everest Dodgeball Tournament, can drives, and other fund-raising events.
The seniors raised about $500 so far at a bonfire and at the fourth annual Powder Puff football game, Oct. 14, in which high school girls played female faculty. The teachers won the first three games, but this year, the students triumphed.
"There are a lot more of them now," Plante said. "They're faster or we're slower."
Upcoming fund raisers include Breakfast with Santa, Dec. 4, and the Everest boys vs. faculty basketball game, Dec. 16.
For more information, call Everest Collegiate High School, 5935 Clarkston Road, at 248-241-9001 or check www.everest-clarkston.org.
Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.