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April 12, 2008

SGR sponsors homeless walk

by Kiera Zitelman, Online Editor-in-Chief
Students for Global Responsibility (SGR) sponsored a walk for the homeless Thursday during both lunches on the Blair track. Over 500 students showed up, and the event raised well over $1,000, according to junior SGR member Vanessa Hoy.

She and several other SGR members coordinated the homeless walk. While all of the money has not been counted, club sponsor and social studies resource teacher George Vlasits was even more optimistic than Hoy. "I'm hopeful that we'll end up with $1,300 or so," he said.
Students came out Thursday during both 5a and 5b lunches to help raise money during the walk for the homeless sponsored by SGR. Julia Seiger
Students came out Thursday during both 5a and 5b lunches to help raise money during the walk for the homeless sponsored by SGR.


Hoy was pleasantly surprised with the results, as this is SGR's first time organizing a homeless walk. "We had no idea what it was going to be like," she said. "When I heard, I was very surprised and happy."

The money came from students and parents who donated, as well as businesses, according to Hoy. "We had to make letters to companies we wanted to sponsor us," she said. Businesses pledged either a flat rate or a certain amount of money for each participant.

The 500 students came during both lunches, and some teachers, like Vlasits and several gym teachers, brought their fifth period classes to participate. SGR members standing at the entrance to the track helped students sign in, and Blazers were free to walk as many laps as they wished.

Sophomore Nellie Garlow participated in the walk, donating five dollars and walking two laps. "It was very diverse," she said. "A lot of different grades came together."

Proceeds from the walk will be donated to Mary House, "an organization that provides transitional housing services, shelter and support programs to homeless and struggling families," according to its web site. Mary House works with poor immigrant families, offering services like language classes and tutoring to help immigrants to establish themselves. "It helps immigrants get back on their own feet and provide for themselves," Hoy said.

To prepare for the walk, SGR members handled renting the track, handing out pledge sheets and organizing publicity an effort that started in mid-March. "We made signs and did an InfoFlow pack. Publicity was a big part," she said. Hoy helped hand out pledge sheets to Blazers, so that students could get their family and friends to pledge a certain amount of money per lap.

Like Hoy, Garlow was pleased with the walk. "I want to see it again next year," she said.



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