The Columbia High School Student Council recently took home a top award for their Haitian Earthquake Relief Fundraiser. The recognition was part of the New Jersey Association of Student Councils Top 10 Projects awards.
The award was handed out at the Association’s 85th Winter Convention, held at The College of New Jersey. The acknowledgement marked the third time Columbia students won the award, which recognizes outstanding projects or activities conducted by member schools.
Impacted by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, members of the CHS Student Council decided to work on a community-wide fundraiser. The quake hit close to home for a number of students because the devastation also affected some of their friends and people within the community. After deciding to collect donations within the school and throughout the community, council members touched base with other local clubs that included the Key Club, the Columbia Haitian American Club (CHACA), Columbia High School Inspired (CHI), and others.
The students then held an Open Mic Night charity event. During the show, Columbia students and staff performed to raise money. As a result, $9,055.00 was raised and later donated to Partners in Health, an organization in the forefront of Haitian Earthquake relief.
"The Haitian Earthquake Relief fundraising effort was an overwhelming success,” said CHS Principal Dr. Lovie Lilly. “This was the first time in several years that a wide variety of clubs and service organizations worked cohesively toward a common objective.” As a result, their joint efforts resulted in an impressive amount of money being raised and the donation of food, clothing and supplies.
Members of the Student Council were heartened by the show of support by the participating organizations, those within the school district and in the Maplewood-South Orange communities.
Student Council officers include President Ben Donald, Vice President Ilana Langsam, Secretary Kayla Friedlander, Treasurer Jake Silberg, and Board of Education Representative Seth Wolin. Student Council advisors are Ms. Hannah Edelman and Ms. Beth Dalzell.