Record-breaking Effort for CHS Gives Back 2021

Clarion photo Anna Suydam
Speech and Debate teacher Patrick Gonzales wears around 300 ties for the day for reaching an incentive of $500 for the CHS Gives Back fundraiser.

Overwhelmed, elated and proud. These are words leadership teacher Susie Brighouse used to describe how she felt after the CHS Gives Back 2021 campaign raised $11,863.64 for those in need in the Cleveland community in December.

“Our community really came together this year!” Brighouse said.
The grand total does not include more than $2,000 in help provided in gift cards, food, and clothing items collected by the Cleveland Commerce High School Alumni Association, and the many items that were purchased from the Target wish list, Brighouse said.

Students brought in cash to their English classes, incentivized by good will and the possibility of seeing their favorite teacher doing something fun. The ninth grade academies took first place by bringing in $5,920.59, sophomores took second with $1,772.77, staff took third with $1,728.95, juniors took fourth with $1,229.97, and seniors gave $1,161.36.

When various giving levels were reached, some teachers were on the hook to do various things. English teacher Patrick Gonzales wore an exuberant amount of ties for the day, culinary teacher Caitlyn Hacklander got whip cream in the face, Spanish teacher Richard Acuna dyed his hair, history teacher Steve Nims wore an abominable snowman costume, and student attendance coach Isaac Camacho came to school in drag.

In addition, Special Projects Coordinator Jan Watt purchased a meal for four students, administrators did a Tik Tok dance, and counselor Nick Yoder and teachers Eric Levine, Jim McNeely, Alex Fuller, Alan McClary performed the mean girls dance for students.

The season of giving also included a little competition among teachers by having them decorate their doors to share some holiday spirit. Special Education teacher Lureena Weesner took first place, Acuna’s door took second, and Julia Blattner’s door took third.

Brighouse also thanked the tireless efforts of Michelle Hardaway, the school’s social worker, for “doing double the work these past few weeks. Our students and their families are lucky to have you.”

Hardaway thanked everyone, including Brighouse and the students in leadership and support staff who helped organize and make deliveries.
“We were able to provide food boxes and gift cards to over 20 families and because of everyone’s overwhelming generosity will now have funding to support even more families after break,” Hardaway said.