Blue skies and a delightful fall breeze set the scene for a picturesque afternoon Sunday as the third annual Dollars for Scholars Walkathon stepped off at New Rochelle High School.
Beginning and ending at the high school, the 3-mile walk took people an average of 45 minutes to complete.
Roughly 40 students and parents participated in the two-hour walk, slightly less than previous years. Participating school organizations included Students Against Destructive Decisions, New Rochelle High School’s dance team, Best Buddies organization.
With this event, the high school’s Parent Teacher Student Association strives to bring a sense of community to school fundraising, said Chairwoman Lisa Dorman.
She recalled fundraising problems PTSA faced before implementing the annual walk.
“It was a challenge for PTSA to raise money because we didn’t fundraise other than our membership drive, a portion of which goes to New York State PTA,” Dorman said. “In order for us to do something school wide and not compete with any club or team who often do their own fundraising activities, we decided to have a school-wide walkathon.”
All proceeds will benefit the school in two areas: extracurricular organizations and scholarship funds.
“What makes this a really extraordinary effort is that for the children and the school it’s a win, win, win,” said PTSA Co-president Suyan Taylor. “[Students] raise money for scholarships, they raise money for their activities and they can also use this for community service hours.”
Prior to the walk, each participant filled out a pledge form indicating the school club or community organization he or she would like to see funds given to. Half of all money raised will be put into a scholarship fund for high school seniors and the other half is given to the clubs and organizations previously chosen by participants. Later in the school year, faculty members will select seniors to receive college scholarship from the fund.
“Every dollar we raise goes back to the kids. We don’t choose the scholars, but we allow for more recipients through our funds,” Dorman said.
Sophomore Carlton McKay and mother Abbey McKay participated in this year’s walk together but fundraised for different causes. Café Saturnalia, the high school’s music club, is closer to acquiring its own drum set because of efforts made by Carlton McKay Sunday.
“Someone would have to bring a drum in for every concert so instead, I thought we could raise money and buy a drum set and keep it at the school," he said.
Abbey McKay helped raise $286 for Hope Community Service Soup Kitchen.
While this is the first year the New Rochelle-based mother-son duo participated in the walk, it will most likely not be the last.
With her son by her side nodding in agreement, Abbey McKay stated without hesitation, “I would do it again next year.”