There are a lot of reasons to feel “Red Pride.” Newton Senior High School Principal Bill Peters said he has a new one after a recent student fundraiser raised nearly $900 to go toward hurricane relief in Houston.
In the midst of Homecoming celebrations, senior Matthew Karsten still made time to think of others by teaming up with 15 other students to raise money this month.
Karsten said he initiated the idea of a fundraiser after seeing the devastation left by Hurricane Harvey. He said he asked his friends what they thought about working together to raise money at a football game, and they agreed.
“When some of my classmates supported me, I started to think it was a good idea,” Karsten said. “Then I went and asked Peters and got approval.”
Karsten’s classmates Ali Bestell and Morgann Eide, both seniors, said Karsten can sometimes come up with ideas that are “off-the-wall” or “timely,” but this one was different.
“I thought it was pretty cool,” Eide said. “You don’t have to know the people or be a part of their town to help.”
Eide said she also had a personal connection to the recent hurricane destruction.
“My grandparents live in Florida, so I know what it’s like to be worried about loved ones,” Eide said.
Once NHS students received the go-ahead, they walked around with a hat to collect money during a recent varsity football game.
“I kind of came up with a theme, and I wanted to dress up as Walker Texas Ranger,” Karsten said. “The parents and attendees were happy to help once they figured out what we were raising money for.”
Bestell said the trio has since developed other ideas to raise money for not only hurricane victims but for other local causes. The students also noted that not every fundraiser has to take weeks or months to plan.
“It was really nice to see something positive happening and to do something that will make a difference,” Bestell said.
Peters said the money was donated to the United Way in Houston.
“The fundraiser was totally student originated and student driven — it’s awesome,” Peters said. “One of the number one things we hope to teach students here is to help one another.”
Peters said he couldn’t be more proud of those who took initiative.
To put it simply, “They are good people,” Peters said.
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