PA Relief Initiative Raises $21,000 in November “Month of Giving”

In addition to its immediate response to Hurricane Katrina and the Southeast Asia earthquake in early fall, the PA Community Service Department scheduled a November “Month of Giving” that raised over $21,000. In early September, the school founded the Hurricane Relief Initiative. In the aftermath of the October earthquake that shook Pakistan and India, the effort expanded into the Phillips Academy Disaster Relief Initiative. This Initiative combined various clubs, organizations, and campus departments with a common goal to provide much-needed funds and support to the victims of the year’s natural disasters through educational book readings, dances, interactive panel discussions, and religious events. The Community Service Department proceeded to announce November as “A Month of Giving Thanks, A Month of Giving” a scheduled a month-long program of fundraising and relief awareness-raising events. All of the money raised by the Disaster Relief Initiative will go towards the victims of Katrina and the Southeast Asia earthquake via six major organizations: the American Red Cross, Oxfam America, Habitat for Humanity, the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), St. Isidore’s Catholic School in Baton Rouge, and the Focus Humanitarian Assistance. “A response of this magnitude was made possible through both the tremendous generosity of our community and the tireless efforts of many students, faculty, and staff. It is significant that the final amount raised is the product of literally hundreds of individuals who contributed to these efforts,” said Community Service Director Chad Green., a website providing information on local Andover restaurants, sponsored the first ever “Takeout Night 2005” in early November. The site’s founders John Gwin ’07 and Henry Frankieviech ’07 organized the event which allowed students to purchase $4 tickets to sample foods from multiple local restaurants. The restaurants had offered their food for free, and the $1014 raised from the tickets went directly to PA’s Disaster Relief Initiative. IndoPak held their annual Diwali/Eid Celebration and Dinner, serving plates of traditional Indian food to raise funds for affected Pakistanis. Interim Assistant Dean of Students Jeevan D’cunha arranged the event, which raised $365. OXFAM President Greg Pucillo ’06 organized a “Penny Wars,” in addition to OXFAM’s annual Sadie Hawkins Dance and auction. In the Penny Wars, all grades and a faculty group competed to donate the most pennies for a free pizza party. The event raised a total of $726. In its yearly Oxfam Auction, Andover students, faculty, and local businesses donated goods to be auctioned off to raise funds for various relief efforts. The ever-popular auction raised $4526. In conjunction with the auction, Mr. Green organized the Keys to Relief fundraiser. For this event, students purchased a “key to relief” for $5 and had the opportunity to win a prize package with more than $400 value. The Keys raised $2450. On November 4, Reverend Mike Ebner arranged for Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam to begin his book tour of The Education of a Coach at PA. The $1950 from book sales went toward the PA Relief Initiative. The religious organizations on campus also contributed to the cause. The Andover Christian Fellowship held a sock drive. Reverend Ebner led a Thanksgiving “Worship Service as well as a Lessons and Carols Service which raised $200 and $500 respectively. Father Nahoe’s Catholic Student Fellowship has also raised $2000. Throughout the fall term, Dean of Students Marlys Edwards and Director of Student Activities Cindy Efinger organized a variety of fundraisers including a Pizza Prize dance in Ryley Room and a donation dance selling student-produced CDs, raising $391 altogether. PA encouraged Alumni to donate, and direct donations from individuals amounted to $675. Donations from the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library collection came to $180. Head of School Barbara Chase cancelled this year’s Phelps House Holiday Open House and donated the would-be expenses of $3500 to the Disaster Relief Initiative. Biology Instructor Raj Mundra organized a Panel Discussion purely for educational purposes called “Natural Disasters—Causes and Consequences: Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Floods and Tsunamis.” The panel, which composed of clubs and campus department leaders, led students in a discussion exploring the causes of natural disasters and their impact on the environment and human relations. There has also been a panel discussion about poverty and race, and a student-led discussion concerning the effect of Hurricane Katrina on other cities.