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STA students raise $6K, teachers wear student uniforms

January 31, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Wendy Gabrek

On November 22, 2019, students from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School (STA) participated in a Charity Hockey game against OPP officers from both the Dufferin and Nottawasaga detachments.

More than half of the school student population took part – either as fans with purchased tickets, or through tournament organization or participation.

Through the game alone, students raised $1,350, with an additional $4,510 raised during the first week of December in a staff versus student competition to collect money and food items for the Our Town Food Bank – serving Tottenham and Beeton.

The cash, a total of $5,860 raised, was directed to the local chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. 

“[This charity was] chosen because it is a local community-based charity that supports families in New Tecumseth and Adjala–Tosorontio who are facing economic hardships,” Ann Marie Sheehan, STA principal, told The Times.

Now in its fourth year, the Charity Hockey Game, through St. Vincent de Paul, has supported local families in need over the holiday season.  

“The money was used to buy children Christmas gifts, purchase food and pay bills or rent,” explains Sheehan. “We have worked with St. Vincent de Paul since the school opened its doors.”

More than the spirit of giving drove the students to this level of success however. It was the promise of reward that kept the competitive fires burning.

“Our teachers challenged the students to a one-week fundraising drive,” said Sheehan, “with the winner of the challenge [receiving] a dress down day. If teachers won, they could dress down on a Friday. If students won, students could dress down and teachers would have to wear student uniform for the day.”

The STA students beat the teachers by two dollars.

The 2019 Hockey Game was organized by Martha Whelton, School Chaplain, teacher and hockey coach Tom Eagan, and members of the OPP.

A relatively small school of the board, STA students are working on several other charitable initiatives.

In September STA raised $2,200 dollars for The Terry Fox Foundation.  This brings the school total of monies raised for the Foundation to $106,844.14 over the past 22 years. 

“This is the most in any school in Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School board, with the next closest school $70,000 behind us,” said Sheehan.

The small school that cares has also fund raised the money to dig thirty wells in rural villages in India over the past 18 years.  

“These wells drastically improve the lives of women and children – they don’t spend their days walking for water, as the well is dug within their village limits,” said Sheehan.

The student body at STA has also sponsored two children in Ghana annually – for the past 15 years; is a huge supporter of the Our Town Food Bank; and raises funds for the Alliston based homeless shelter, Out of the Cold.

Plans for the 2020 Charity Hockey Game are already in the works.


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