Conant High School Senior Presents $15,000 Donation to Tornado-Ravaged Washington High School

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Conant High School senior Joe Ranallo presents a donation check to Washington High School Superintendent Dr. Jim Dunnan (left) and Assistant Superintendent  Joe Sander.

Conant High School senior Joe Ranallo presents a donation check to Washington High School Superintendent Dr. Jim Dunnan (left) and Assistant Superintendent Joe Sander. The school officials traveled from Washington, Ill. to receive a $15,000 donation check for their school affected by tornadoes last November.

When Conant High School senior Joe Ranallo saw the devastating aftermath of tornadoes that hit Washington, Ill., in November 2013, he knew he needed to help.

Joe, with the help of the entire Conant High School community and local businesses, raised $15,000 for Washington Community High School. Superintendent Jim Dunnan and Assistant Superintendent Joe Sander from Washington Community High School traveled to Conant for a basketball game on Feb. 7 where Joe presented a donation check to them in person.

“It was amazing,” Joe said. “The superintendents that came from Washington are great people and were genuinely happy to have a community that got together and helped their community. It was a real amazing moment.”

Fundraising efforts started when Joe was given a “random act of kindness,” assignment for this Leadership for Life class. That evening while watching TV with his family, he witnessed the devastation taking place in Washington, Ill., and immediately went to administration to start working on a relief donation fund the next day. The donation fund, which was called Conant Cares, was well received within the school community.

Joe receives a t-shirt from Washington High School Superintendent Dr. Jim Dunnan (left) and Assistant Superintendent  Joe Sander. The school officials traveled from Washington, Ill. to receive a $15,000 donation check for their school affected by tornadoes last Nov. The fundraising efforts were spearheaded by Ranallo with the help of Conant High School and the surrounding community.

Joe receives a t-shirt from Washington High School Superintendent Dr. Jim Dunnan (left) and Assistant Superintendent Joe Sander. The fundraising efforts were spearheaded by
Ranallo with the help of Conant High School and the surrounding community.

“It started during lunches. We would bring water jugs in and students would donate anything they had,” Joe said. “My family and I went to corporations to get more donations and my peers were ecstatic about this. They spread the word to their families, and along with a bunch of family and friends, this got huge.”

Joe said that it was great to be a part of an event that could help others, and is already teaming up with a fellow classmate for Polar Plunge, a fundraising event that benefits Special Olympics. He plans on double majoring in managerial business and business marketing in college, and playing basketball.

For students who might be interested in starting a donation fund for a cause they believe in, Joe said to just go for it.

“For anyone that wants to lead something, they should know there are a bunch of people around that would be more than happy to help, so just go after it and do it” he said. “I am really happy with how everything turned out and how amazing everyone was for contributing to this cause. I am at a loss of words.”