Event raises funds for athletics program, builds community
Unity Christian High School’s Feb. 24 pancake dinner was a success, raising $1,300 for the athletics program and attracting more than twice as many people as the previous year.
Teacher Mike Vanderboor says they hosted a dinner last year because the Barrie school found a lot of people were looking for a place to have pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. This year, the Grade 12 leadership class ran the event with assistance from the school’s athletic council, which is a volunteer group of students.
More than 250 people came out for the dinner, including parents from the school and community members.
“It was just overwhelming,” says Vanderboor.
People learned about the event through advertising in church bulletins, e-mails, radio ads and a sign in front of the school.
The event raised funds for the school’s athletic program while also building community.
“You get kids who normally don’t hang out together working side by side doing dishes, flipping pancakes, mixing batter, so it’s exciting, it just bonds the whole group together,” says Vanderboor.
Principal Peter Bulthuis says the event fostered a powerful community connection of people coming together to show support for the school.
“It enabled people to show support for the school in a variety of ways by simply showing up and sitting around tables and so on and meeting other people who are interested in the school,” says Bulthuis.
“When people come they are showing their support for this organization … so that’s helpful for everybody else to see there are a lot of people behind this endeavour.”
He adds it was great to have the Grade 12 students learn how to plan and execute the dinner and notes they were evaluated on their performance.
The funds were used to expand the school’s track and field team equipment. Vanderboor says last year the team participated in running and jumping events, and wanted to add events that may appeal to more students.
With the dinner’s proceeds the school has ordered javelins, shot puts, discus, sprinter blocks, relay batons and other items needed for the teams.
“There is a buzz of excitement in the school as students look forward to using the new equipment,” says Vanderboor. “They are really excited about those things coming in and the ground thawing so we can get out there and start throwing things.”
The track and field team will compete in Simcoe County meets and with Ontario Christian high schools from April to June.