Decatur Helps Dev. Center

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OCEAN CITY – Stephen Decatur High School presented a check to the Worcester County Developmental Center on Tuesday, a donation reflecting a school-wide effort to raise funds for the facility that burned down in September.

Twenty different groups or organizations at Stephen Decatur High School (SDHS) rallied for the cause over the last few weeks, raising $5,100 in just four weeks.

“It was amazing that people stepped up to the plate and were so unselfish about giving their hard earned funds,” said Sharon Smith, SDHS curriculum resource teacher and fundraising coordinator.

The fundraising reportedly gained momentum after SDHS Principal Louis H. Taylor announced it at a faculty meeting.

“The need is great for the developmentally disabled adults who attend the center. They depend daily on the center and are deeply affected by this loss. Any of you who are able to assist, please do so,” Taylor said.

From there, clubs, organizations and sports teams went to work, raising money or contributing money that they already had in their treasuries.

Each group or organization took a different approach, but all reached the same outcome, significant donations. The Art Club voted to donate half of what was in their current treasury. The Yearbook staff took a different route, placing a donation jar on a table during lunch. The donation jar brought in over $300 from the students.

“You can always count on Stephen Decatur High School’s students to come through when someone else needs help,” said yearbook advisor Jeff Phillips.

Creative Writing teacher Elaine Wallingford aptly took a creative approach, organizing a Write-a-Thon where sponsors pledged a set amount or an amount per word or sentence. Students then wrote for an hour on loss, allowing them a chance to reflect on the purpose of their fundraising efforts.

The Key Club and Chesapeake Farms joined forces and sold ice cream at a home football game to raise money. Chesapeake Farms donated all of the ice cream and dipped while the students sold the cones. All of the proceeds from the sale were donated.

A yard sale was also organized, with staff members donating items to be sold on a Saturday.

According to Taylor, this was the second major school wide fundraiser in less than two years, following a similar fundraiser for Hurricane Katrina victims that raised $5,000.

“In two challenges within a year and a half apart, our kids and our staff have raised over $10,000,” Taylor said Thursday, “They get so excited about doing things like that.”

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