Editor's note: For a by-the-numbers look at Hickman Homecoming fundraising, scroll down to the bottom of this story.
Hickman High School senior Winnie Feng was crowned homecoming queen Friday night, and the 12 charities that will receive the more than $22,000 candidates raised won as well.
What is a competition at many other high schools became a group effort for the 12 senior candidates. The charities included groups such as Columbia’s Rainbow House and the international Genocide Watch.
Feng, who raised money for the Children’s Miracle Network, said she received support from students she had never met at Hickman.
Feng, 17, said she didn’t exactly have a fundraising strategy, but her friends helped with the various projects. Some of the band members who nominated her helped raise money during the cross-town Hickman-Rock Bridge football game. Feng also sold $600 of Chinese food during the annual Queen’s Candidate Charity Fair during lunch Wednesday, and sold brownies throughout the week.
“I made brownies for pretty much two weeks straight,” she said.
Anne Schauwecker raised $6,000 for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation throughout the two weeks of homecoming festivities. Her aunt was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer in August, and Schauwecker said she felt helpless to do anything during her aunt’s surgery and recovery. Raising money for the foundation was one way she could be proactive in her volunteering, she said.
Schauwecker, 18, said the two weeks leading up to homecoming were stressful, but she learned that people will help if only asked. Her best friend, Olivia Heisner, was also a homecoming candidate, but the friends didn’t let the competition get in the way of service. Schauwecker donated money to Heisner’s Genocide Watch campaign, and she said Olivia served during one of her breakfast fundraisers.
Schauwecker said she has always volunteered.
“I think it definitely kicked in a higher gear since high school,” she said.
Although volunteering can be beneficial when applying for college or jobs, Schauwecker said that resume building was not her motivation. She said volunteering can be “selfish,” in that it makes a person feel good about themselves while helping others.
“Certain aspects of (volunteering) have become part of my life,” she said.
Homecoming coordinator and history teacher Jami Thornsberry said the homecoming tradition at Hickman began with a big service initiative in the late '90s that focused on volunteering.
“I think at the time students thought homecoming was a superficial tradition,” said Thornsberry, who added that the money-raising aspect came later.
Kay Lindner, Hickman’s assistant activities director, collected all the money from the donations. As of 1 p.m. Friday, the 12 candidates had raised $22,471.37, and Lindner said she expected people to continue making donations.
Lindner said last year’s homecoming candidates raised more than $16,000.
“You find that the girls aren’t worried all week about who wins,” Lindner said. “These girls aren’t thinking of themselves first. Ultimately, all of these charities are the winners.”
Shinah McLean chose to raise money for the Dream Factory after meeting a woman whose grandson participated in the program. The Dream Factory sent the boy and his family to Disney World in Orlando, but he became sick and had to return home. McLean said the Dream Factory called that an “unfulfilled dream,” and the organization sent the boy back a few years later.
During the past two weeks, McLean said her friends, especially the members of the Thespian Society who nominated her, have helped her raise money. Some of the members dressed as mimes and gathered donations during lunch.
“They bugged them until they gave a donation,” McLean said.
She also requested donations from businesses, bought and sold popcorn balls and made cookies.
|Candidate||Nominating Organization||Charity||Amount Raised as of 1 p.m. Friday|
|Anne Schauwecker||Student Government||Susan G. Komen||$5,920|
|Saxon Brown||Academy of Rock||New Orleans Musician Clinic||$2,711|
|Katie Bethall||Music Society||Rainbow House||$2,614|
|Olivia Heisner||Musical||Genocide Watch||$2,013|
|Liz Gayer||Fellowship of Christian Athletes||Jon Strodtman||$1,850|
|Winnie Seng||Band||Children’s Miracle Network||$1,754|
|Shinah McLean||Thespian Society||Dream Factory||$1,586|
|Jacklyn Yaegar||Spanish Honor Society||Central Latino||$1,165|
|Sara Hotop||Helping Our Peers Everywhere||Ronald McDonald House||$1,133|
|Molly Sjurson||DECA, a marketing organization||St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital||$811|
|Bree Lee||Global Issues||Global Issues Conference||$569|
|Bianca Aaron||National Honor Society||Refugee/Immigration Services||$345|