A year of loss brings a new one for giving

By Jordan Ross, Staff Writer

 Carroll’s Senior Gift Committee headed by math teacher Jena Buranj has chosen the Northwest Allen County elementary schools libraries as this year’s recipient for the annual senior gift.

   Formed in 1987 after the loss of a Carroll High School student, a group of seniors formed the Senior Gift Committee which decides each year who to give donations to within the NACS community. Each year, the committee uses its judgement to decide who is in most need of those gift donations. Past recipients have included the special needs class of Huntertown Elementary, Carroll High School student Wil Wigge, and the Carroll High School special needs class.

      “The recipient is decided based on what has happened or if we find someone who really needs helps,” Bujran said.

   This year, the committee decided that the elementary schools libraries fit for the donation following the loss of teachers Christopher Dodane, Debora McGinn, and Ruth Logar.

   “After the loss of three teachers within weeks of each other, and all those being elementary teachers,” Burjan said, “they had an impact on the seniors. Some specialized in literacy and all advocated reading so we decided to give back to all seven elementary schools.”

   The senior gift itself is essentially comprised of donations the committee receives. Although the committee is planning a Nelson’s Chicken fundraiser for this March, the senior gift committee typically spreads awareness for donations by word of mouth and their annual newsletter.

   Although the committee has never had an issue raising enough money, donations can certainly be competitive.

   “In 2005, there were maybe a handful of clubs at Carroll,” Burjan said, “but now were competing against the dance marathon or the night of giving at the football games. Even the athletic departments are fundraising more than they have in years past as they are getting bigger and better.”

   As fundraising is a long process, donations are accepted for a considerable amount of time.

   “We are going for donations as long as we can,” Burjan said. “We’ll probably begin to wrap things up around spring break but donations continue to trickle down afterwards. Basically we will be taking money up until the day that the senior brunch is hosted.”

   Wanting as many donations as possible, the committee relies on parents, students, or anyone who wants to help improve the NACS community.

   “Right now it is just pure donations,” Burjan said. “They [donors] will send it [donations] in to the school and then we collect the money in our own fund.”

   The committee, which is student led, is also creating a video to present to Carroll High School’s homerooms and will be presenting a speech at the senior brunch in effort to spread their message for donations.

   Carroll senior Corinne Grime, like the rest of the students, was more than appreciative of what goes along with her role as a member of the senior gift committee.

   “The whole idea of the senior gift is a great opportunity for us seniors to take what we have learned and give back to our school system,” Grime said, “specifically with the recipient we chose for this year.”