StuCo kicks off AFSP fundraiser


Student council will be holding several fundraising events this year in order to aid the American Federation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). AFSP is a national foundation that, according to its mission statement, is “exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.”

Earlier in the school year, the student council chose AFSP from among several other organizations to be the focus of this year’s fundraising. “We had people research different organizations and then we had small presentations during lunch and then we voted on different organizations,” said Lina Jeong, junior and student council secretary.

“[The choice] was directly inspired by events that have happened recently in Shorewood, particularly over the summer,” said James Krolikowski, student council advisor, “It’s something that the student council unanimously decided upon.”

Other organizations that were considered include the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the Hunger Task Force and the Humane Society.

Already the student council has hosted one major fundraising event: the Mac N’ Cheese Cook-Off. During this competition and socialization opportunity, Shorewood students and community members paid to have their mac-‘n’-cheese recipes tasted and judged. Others paid simply to enjoy the atmosphere and taste the culinary creations of their fellow Shorewood residents. “There were all different kinds [of mac n’ cheese] and there was a nice bake sale and some fun activities,” said Lulu DeVogel, senior.

The top three chefs were recognized and given prizes for their achievement. Altogether, the Mac N’ Cheese Cook-Off raised upwards of $600 for AFSP. “I wasn’t there for very long … but for the time that I was there it seemed well organized and [like] a good way to raise money,” said DeVogel.

Bizen Ghebregziabiher and Ryan Shanahan, juniors, and Balen Essak, sophomore, show off their culinary creation during the Mac 'N Cheese Off.
Bizen Ghebregziabiher and Ryan Shanahan, juniors, and Balen Essak, sophomore, show off their culinary creation during the Mac ‘N Cheese Off.

Over the course of the year, a number of additional major fundraising events will be held to benefit AFSP. These events will include a Lock-In, a Run-a-Thon, a Screen on the Green movie night and a Bachelor/Bachelorette competition.

Krolikowski and Jeong look forward to the upcoming fundraising events, but acknowledge that there are still details to be nailed down, everything from dates to technical logistics. Still to be decided are the dates of the Run-a-Thon and the Screen on the Green event.

In addition to scheduling, Screen on the Green is already presenting technological roadblocks. The event is expected to take place on the football field, which has no on-site power source capable of supporting a projector. “[According to Patrick Spreadbury, technical director] it might take more money to [get] … a power source to the field,” Jeong said.

The Lock-In is a new concept for SHS. “Students will be locked in the PE building from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. The gyms will be open, we’ll have a place where we can project movies, there’ll be separate sleeping areas for boys and girls,” Krolikowski said. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Another unfamiliar addition is the Bachelor/Bachelorette competition. Based on the premise of the TV shows “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” this event will take the place of SHS’s annual Miss Shorewood pageant. The pageant was discontinued this year due to complaints from within and outside of the student body.

“There were some students and teachers that were offended by … some of the things in Miss Shorewood and just the idea of having guys dress up as girls … and do certain actions that were kind of offensive and derogatory towards women,” Jeong said. “[For example, students] were lifting their skirts to get more money during bidding and … people said they were objectifying women.”

“When you have students performing on a stage and trying to act a certain way, like when you have boys acting like girls, there are some stereotypes and some generalizations that are made that can be offensive,” Krolikowski said. “How do you do that without being offensive? That’s the fine line to walk.”

Despite Miss Shorewood’s retirement, Krolikowski concedes that the topic is still, and always will be, open for discussion. “If there’s a way that you can hold students accountable and make them act appropriately in all circumstances then [Miss Shorewood] could certainly happen, but it’s a tall order,” Krolikowski said.

When asked if she expects the absence of Miss Shorewood to negatively affect earnings this year for the fundraiser, Jeong expressed her confidence to the contrary. “Maybe we won’t get as much as Miss Shorewood did, but I think that a lot of our other fundraisers will accommodate for that potential loss,” Jeong said.

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