Cleveland Gives Back

The student body raises $6,446.15 for programs to help CHS students and families in need,


Clarion photo Jordan Sindelar

CHS Gives Back assembly. Laurel Cameron pies math teacher Erik Running.

By James Dryden, Editor

One of the most prolific charity programs that we have at school is CHS Gives Back, an initiative to raise money for the families at Cleveland that need it most. The leadership class organized the fundraiser and put on the assembly and with the help of the school, managed to raise $6,446.15, according to leadership teacher Susie Brighouse.  

“$1,500 will be granted back (with matching funds) to help immigrants and refugees in our community with healthcare and housing costs,” Brighouse said.  “The rest will go directly to assisting CHS students and their families.” 

The Communicare program is where the $1,500 will be entrusted, which was matched with a grant to provide more than $16,500 to immigrants and healthcare here in Portland.

Back at Cleveland, of the almost $6,500 raised in total, $3000 went into a fund for gifts and food for the break, while the rest is kept in reserve for those who need gas, food, or other resources, Brighouse said. 

Last year, Cleveland managed to raise more than $7,000 dollars, but some of that came from an anonymous source who gave $1,000. And although the anonymous donor did not give that amount this year, the priority of student donations over the donations from outside sources helped nearly match last year’s total.

Leadership students raised $350 just working the halls at lunch. The bulk of the money was raised through donations given in English classes. But then the students had a bright idea. By using the Venmo application, people were able to digitally donate from their bank accounts into the fund. This boosted the amount by quite a considerable amount, with $750 being transferred digitally, according to the leadership class. 

The culmination of all of these efforts was the assembly, held Dec. 20. Various rewards for reaching the financial levels played out on the gym floor. One highlight was the roasting duel between speech and debate teacher Patrick Gonzales and history teacher Timothy Graham. Another was Doug Whitewolff’s full immersion ice bath.

In addition to student fundraising, three checks were presented from CHS alumni such as Karen Genzer, the president of the alumni association, as well as board members Kristin Cole and Gary Bishop for a total of $27,500.

The science department received $7,075, while $4,780 went to the music department for the piano drive, and $13,786.50 went to the athletic department.