January 23, 2013 - By Katelyn Winkler
Review Staff Writer
What began as a joke soon turned into a fun experience for students who participated in a Leadership Development Workshop (LDW) flash mob event last week at Lake Orion High School.
Students Allie Biland and Jeffery Snyder came up with the idea to perform a flash mob for their peers during all lunches. Last Tuesday, all 55 LDW students strutted through the lunch room and danced to "We're All in This Together" from High School Musical.
"I expected people to be hesitant to participate and be awkward about it," Biland said. "But everyone [in LDW] got really into it."
Throughout all four lunches, students were taking pictures, recording videos, and posting on social networking sites about LDW's performances and use of their free time.
"We got some negative feedback on Twitter, but for the most part people enjoyed it and were entertained," Snyder said. "You just have to have fun, have good communication skills, be committed, enthusiastic, and able to work together to pull something like this off."
While the LDW class devised a creative way to amuse the student body, the majority of their time is used to make a difference at Lake Orion Schools and in the community.
This past holiday season, LDW chair, Jeffery Litten, and his committee set up a Christmas tree near the main office to inspire students to participate in the Giving Tree. The tree was decorated with paper ornaments that had what to buy and the age and gender of the person that requested the item.
"Our goal was to collect gifts to support Lake Orion families in need for Christmas," Litten said. "We had about 75 gifts received [from students, staff, and community members] which was enough for everyone and they all got what they wanted."
LDW collected the ornaments attached to the gifts and delivered them to the families that needed extra support this past holiday.
"It felt good knowing that you're helping out Lake Orion families and supporting people within your community," Litten said. "We collected items like clothes, toys for younger kids, and basic items, like laundry detergent."
After the holidays wrapped up, LDW's Can Drive began where all first hour classes competed against one another to see who could bring in the most can goods. The event took place for three weeks, but the LDW Can Drive Committee put in six weeks of hard work to make this event possible.
"They put together sheets for each classroom to keep track of the amount of cans brought in, created a can-o-meter sign that was hung on the main stairwell, found boxes for the cans, and designed an excel spread sheet to keep track of community service hours," LDW Vice President André Bonneville said. "Making sure everyone got their service hours was the most difficult part. Students got one community service hour for every five cans they brought in, with a maximum of five hours."
Once the drive was finished, LDW students picked up cans from each classroom and found that the winning classroom was teacher Michael Bendle's first hour honors chemistry class, who received a breakfast sponsored by local restaurants. Students from Bendle's classroom went around to community members and collected cans and checks to support the drive.
"Our goal was to raise 7,000 cans but we exceeded our goal by a lot with about 8,500," President André Bonneville said. "The cans went to support the Lions Club and the Oxford/Orion FISH organization."
As the can drive came to an end, along with the second term of school, new students will enter into the LDW classroom and take on new challenges and begin to plan the upcoming blood drive, sponsored by the American Red Cross. This past November, LOHS students signed up to participate in the blood drive, and have an opportunity to save lives.
"We ended up with about 90 pints by the end of the blood drive," committee member Savanna Smirnow said. "Every pint saves a life and the thought of making an impact to help those in need is a big deal."
With a blood drive coming up on February 8th, LDW has high expectations for the amount of blood that will be donated and the students willing to participate.
"[Last blood drive] we had to turn down a lot of people due to fall sports," Smirnow said. "Hopefully now that fall sports are over more people will be able to donate. Even if we don't get a lot of blood, it only takes one person to motivate others and make an impact and save people's lives."
Leadership concludes the first half of the school year with planning multiple, successful events and as they approach the rest of the year, they continue to make a difference in the community and "lead on."