Generous giving from the staff, students, and families of the Walled Lake Consolidated School District once again took place this past holiday season, as over $70,000 in food, toys and monetary donations were raised by the district, according to Judy Evola, the school district’s director of community relations and marketing.
“We have a very, very generous school community,” she said. “Our students, staff, and families are truly giving people, and we are very fortunate that this is the community we live and work in.”
A variety of outreach efforts were seen in all the schools, but the two biggest contributors were Walled Lake Western and Walled Lake Central high schools.
The performing arts students and staff at Western helped raise more than $11,000 for Hospitality House — which translates into roughly 46,825 pounds of food — by asking for audience donations after their productions of Hairspray and the district’s Holiday Collage Concert.
Laura Matousek, the student activities coordinator at Walled Lake Central, and Central’s student council raised more than $13,500 and 60,000 pounds of food for Hospitality House.
“We set our goals high this year,” Matousek said. “We give incentives for our kids, and they do a fantastic job. It’s a competition, but at the same time we send the message that they are doing something for those in the community. This year’s theme was based on that it could be anybody — such as the person in your French class. Hunger is all around us.”
According to Hospitality House Director Kristy Hutson, the Walled Lake district is the agency’s “biggest supporters.”
“It was just great all the stuff they did for us,” she said. “Hospitality House wouldn’t be able to help as many people as we do without the help of the schools. It’s very inspirational how compassionate students and staff get about wanting to help families.”
Walled Lake Central also sponsored a holiday gift drive for Forest View Elementary School in Lansing, enabling the donation of gifts for 275 students.
Matousek said she was “touched and proud” of all the students.
Melissa Fannon, committee chair for the event and treasurer of the student council, said this holiday gift drive is “one of our favorite events to do.”
“Every child in that elementary school was so grateful. It was incredible to get to be there and watch,” she said.