Students at Ecole Fox Run School had a lot of fun on an empty stomach last week. To raise funds for school initiatives, students from the school participated in the school’s fourth iteration of the 30-Hour Famine, on May 25 and 26.
“We did it to raise funds to build a classroom in Uganda one year before now, and another [previous] year we did it for Haiti after the earthquake struck. Another year, we did one to support global water awareness – making people aware of freshwater shortages in some parts of the world,” said Principal Don Rattray. “This year, this kids decided they want to do something local.”
This year, students paid a participation fee of $30 – a minimum fundraising amount allotted for charities. That, in conjunction with some school funding, supported the event.
“We had everything, from kids raising the $30, to kids raising $165,” said Rattray.
attray said that this year’s 30-Hour Famine at Ecole Fox Run School was held in support of Alberta Animal Services – so that students can help the organization provide assistance to the SPCA. Students also raised money to support two character education programs at the school: Heroes and Get Real.
Heroes are done in conjunction with older students from H.J. Cody School, and serve as a means by which older high school students can serve as mentors, providing guidance and leadership to Fox Run students.
“We’ve lost one of our big funders for those, so the kids decided they wanted to fundraise for them,” said Rattray. “Those were our two local ideas this year.”
This year’s 30-Hour Famine saw the participation of 75 Fox Run students from Grade 6-8, and several student-mentors from H.J. Cody School.
“We actually have six H.J. Cody students who wanted to participate – they are kind of like youth leaders,” said Rattray.
Sarah Soley, one of the H.J. Cody students who served as a mentor for this year’s famine, said she enjoys returning to Ecole Fox Run School, and that “I like that they fundraise for a cause.”
“It’s always a good time hanging out with the kids – I like it here,” said Soley. “The teachers were always super awesome here, and we’re basically best friends with them – so it’s always fun to come back and visit. It’s also fun to hang out with the students, tell them what it’s like to go through high school.”
The idea came about two months ago, with 20 students and three members of staff collaborating to plan and organize the event. Once it is determined what charities they want to support, the group of students and staff plan a series of activities for the 30-Hour Famine.
“Traditionally, it started right after school on Thursday, and we had the kids plan game and activities – I helped them coordinate that,” said Rattray. “As a group, we have our last supper together, and that starts at 6 p.m.”
This year, a guest speaker from Alberta Animal Services spoke to the famine participants about what their organization does, and how anyone can get involved. The rest of the first night of the famine was devoted to activities and games in the school gym.
“And then, we trust them to go home overnight. The next morning, we open the gym back up at 8 a.m., so they can get away from their friends, who are likely to tease them with food. They go to regular classes in the morning.”
Because many of the students participating in the famine are at a period in their lives when they are growing, Rattray said there are two “cheat” meals are incorporated into their schedule. Other activities that kept the students entertained throughout the famine include bowling at Railside Bowl, laser tag in Red Deer and movies at the school.
On the final evening of the 30-Hour Famine, when Rattray spoke to the Sylvan Lake News about the event, students were in high spirits, and were playing card games, enjoying activities in the gym or watching Guardians of the Galaxy. Rattray noted they were looking forward to later, with games like hide-and-seek tag and sardines (a game that is like a reverse hide-and-seek) scheduled to take place later in the evening.
At the end of the famine, students indulged in a well-deserved meal of pizza, before heading home.