January 16, 2013 - Leadership students at Clarkston High School are busily preparing for their fourth annual Charity Week, Jan. 28- Feb. 2.
"It is an entire week to raise money for charities we have selected and we think are the best recipients for our money," said senior Katie Gipe.
This year all the money they raise will be split between - the Rainbow Connection, DRAW (Disaster Relief at Work), Jimmy V. Foundation and CureSearch, a National Childhood Cancer Foundation.
Charity week has helped community and national charities over the last three years. They raised $7,000 last year and hope to raise more this year. Last year and this year they are donating to CureSearch to help more children, Gipe added.
"Ryan Kennedy, a fourth grader at North Sashabaw Elementary, had cancer and passed away," she explained. "It is one of the local organizations that has had a huge effect because a lot of people are willing to be generous knowing it was their own child's classmate and peer. It really touches the heartstrings. They are more willing to give for that which is really nice."
"It brings our community closer together," senior Ekta Dhir added.
The students have activities throughout the week the community can join in to help with charity week.
The fun begins on Jan. 28 with the Clarkston "C" Factor Talent Show at Clarkston Junior High School Performing Arts Center, 5 - 8 p.m.
"There are different acts from the high school and the junior high," said Gipe. "At the end we have buckets to put money in for who you think should win and what act you thought was best. It is another way to raise money."
The second event is the Jimmy V. Volleyball Tournament, Jan. 30 at 6 p.m.
Dhir explained it is a bracket type tournament with teams of students and teachers going against each other.
The talent show and volleyball tournament both have admission for the low cost of $1.
"We will also sell concessions and that goes to charity," Gipe added.
During the week first hour classes will compete as they collect items for DRAW. The class to bring in the most items and donations for the organization wins a breakfast.
"It is for disaster relief," Dhir added.
"The whole idea is you are sending a bucket of relief to the people," Gipe said. "There are four different buckets in each classroom."
Dhir and Gipe said the community can participate by parents or neighbors donating items to high school students.
The items needed for the disaster relief buckets include: work gloves, safety goggles, eight-packs of Gatorade, non-aerosol bug spray, Ziploc bags, wet wipes, new rags, sponges, scrub brushes, small bottles of dish soap, disposable dust masks, disposable latex gloves, heavy duty trash bags, air fresheners, 50 packs of clothes pins, towels, washcloths, 4-pack of toilet paper, stick deodorant, toothbrushes, bar soap, shampoo, combs, and nail clippers.
They added local businesses have already helped by being a sponsor. Plus, some local businesses will have canisters where the community can donate change for the charities.
The following businesses will have canisters: Little Caesars, Mr.B's, Deer Lake Athletic Club, Buscemi's Pizza, Tanning Salon, Coach's Corner, Morgan's Service of Clarkston, Kinetic Systems, Pet Parlor, Town Center Car Wash, Weingartz, Royal Diner, Rogers Chiropractic, Pita Way, Waterfall Jewelers and Waterford European.
Gipe and Dhir encourage students and the community to get involved with this year's charity week.
"It is a really good way, especially to help out the community, to give back and to leave your mark," said Gipe. "It really pulls people together during that week. When we have the assembly we all come together and it is a good feeling of empowerment for the kids. You can really make a difference look at all of these great things and you can do it all in one week. It is a great way for them to experience that."
"Just come out and support your community and the school," Dhir added. "Any donation you make will be greatly appreciated."
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.