Students, faculty and staff of Brother Rice High School started a new tradition earlier this month when the entire school closed for a Day of Service.
The project, called “When the Saints Go Marching Out,” because it was planned in coordination of All Saints’ Day (Nov. 1) celebrations, also marked a new and format for the school's annual student fundraiser. This new day of service will replace the student fund-raising raffle, which was used since the early 1990s.
“An all-school day of service is a nod to our founder, Edmund Rice, and all that he stood for,” said Brother Rice President John Birney, class of ’76. “Brother Rice was established to serve the underprivileged, and this is a great way to bring that message back to our families today.”
Rather than selling tickets for the chance to win cash prizes, as they’ve done for the past 20 years with a student raffle, Brother Rice students are soliciting sponsors for their service work. Individual ($250) and school-wide ($150,000) revenue goals are similar to past years, but the cost of running the event is far lower than the raffle. The total funds raised in sponsorships was just over $85,000, and the organizers hope to see that figure grow to $100,000.
New Director of Advancement Chris Drouin, class of ’93, and math teacher Tom Huber began planning the service day last year and found projects that, in all, drew 800 school representatives to more than 25 different locations in Metro Detroit. The group also provided services to about 15 charitable organizations, including Angels’ Place, Gleaners, Christ Child House, the 8-Mile Boulevard Association and several Catholic elementary schools.
The students were organized by their Bands, which are the equivalent of a conventional homeroom and are a part of the school’s internal organization. Bands are comprised of an equal number of students from each class – in effect creating a “vertical home room” that fosters leadership and camaraderie throughout the school. The Band system was adopted at Brother Rice in 2007.
“This is a great opportunity to witness the Band system in action,” Birney said. “It was special to see our students interact with their peers in an educational opportunity that is so important to their character formation.”
In addition to word of mouth, students have used an on-line system to solicit sponsors, who may make their donations either on-line or by cash or check. Visit here to access the site for sponsorship. More information is also available on the school's website.