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

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.”

Students in District 211 Spearhead Donation Efforts for Illinois Tornado Victims

donations_editWith Thanksgiving just around the corner, students in District 211 recognize they have a lot to be thankful for. While many student organizations generally start fundraising and charity efforts during the holidays to benefit their communities, recent events have led to a focus outside of District 211.

Fundraising and charity efforts from all over the District will benefit victims of the tornado that devastated the Washington, Ill., community on Nov. 17. The deadly storms caused roughly 80 tornadoes that ripped through the Midwest.

Fremd cheerleaders are joining forces with the cheer teams from Palatine, Hersey, and Buffalo Grove High Schools to assemble hygiene kits for the tornado victims.  Each school agreed to collect different items for the kits, and Fremd High School is collecting soap and washcloths.  Each team is meeting at Buffalo Grove High School on Nov. 23 to assemble the kits, which will then be dropped off in Washington, Ill.

In addition to the cheerleading team at Palatine High School, the Palatine High School Auto Club students and Applied Technology teacher Mike Ruta are collecting items to send to the tornado victims. One of Ruta’s neighbors runs a bus company and is taking two school buses down to Washington, Ill., on Nov. 22. They are hoping to fill the busses with as many relief items as possible.

The members of PALS Club at Conant High School are selling “Turkey Grams,” which are cards available for $1.00 in the cafeteria through Nov. 25.  Students and staff can take a moment to write a note to a friend, teacher, coach, counselor, administrator, sibling, or parent that has been a “PAL” to them. All proceeds of the sale will go towards the victims in Washington, Ill., and surrounding areas that are in need of a donations as they rebuild during the holiday season.

At Schaumburg High School, students in SHO (Students Helping Others) are sponsoring a monetary collection drive to assist those affected by these disasters. The drive is running Nov. 20 through Nov. 22. A donation table is set up outside the cafeteria and students will walk around with collection cans. All donations will go to the American Red Cross to support disaster relief.

Additional donations through Schaumburg High School can be sent to Cindy Dvorak or Elizabeth Howard in the Social Studies Department. Checks should be made payable to the American Red Cross.

Palatine High School’s Pirate Booster Club to hold 29th Annual Dinner and Auction Fundraiser

Members of the Palatine community will have a chance to enjoy a dinner with live entertainment, while at the same time helping raise funds for Palatine High School students.

The 29th annual Pirate Boosters Dinner and Auction will take place on Feb. 22 at The Cotillion, 360 Creekside Dr. in Palatine, from 6:30 to 11 p.m. The event is open to adults in the community. It is hosted by the PHS Pirate Boosters to benefit student scholarships, grants, and activities.

“This event brings the community together,” said Susan Mulert, PHS Pirate Booster member and co-chair for the dinner auction. “This isn’t just for sports or a particular group, we try hard to make sure this benefits everyone.”

The theme is “Catch the Pirate Spirit,” and guests will have opportunities to participate in raffles, 50/50, live and silent auctions while they enjoy live entertainment and a DJ. Last year’s event attracted more than 300 people, and Mulert said they are hoping for even more this year.

Ken Mate, comedian and magician to perform at the PHS dinner and auction.

Ken Mate is the comedian and magician to perform at the PHS dinner and auction.

In addition to dinner, there will be hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, door prizes, and live entertainment. The live entertainment is stand-up comedian and magician Ken Mate, and musical entertainment from Entertainment Productions. Items for the live and silent auctions were provided by Booster members and community supporters. One of the largest items available for auction is an Emmy Awards package that includes two tickets to the 65th primetime Emmy Awards Show at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.  Other prizes include four VIP tickets and transportation with meet and greet passes to see Bill Cosby at the Chicago Theater, Chicago White Sox tickets, and memorable experiences such as a ride along with a Palatine police officer and more.

In previous years, the dinner and auction have proven to be the largest fundraiser for the PHS Pirate Boosters, and helps provide funds for students. Tickets are $55 per person, or a table of 10 can be purchased for $500. All types of clothing are encouraged, from Pirate gear to formal wear.

For more information or questions, visit the PHS Pirate Boosters website, or email The reservation deadline is Feb. 19.

Fundraiser to Benefit Homeless District 211 Students

For many students in District 211, challenges start outside of the classroom. One of those challenges includes students and families that are homeless. To help, Realtors Against Homelessness (R.A.H.) works to provide fundraising opportunities and events throughout the year.

R.A.H., in partnership with the District 211 Foundation, is hosting the 2nd annual event to support homeless students. The event is at Schaumburg’s John Barleycorn Restaurant, 1100 American Lane, on Nov. 1, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale for $25 each.

Each ticket will provide guests with an appetizer buffet and two drink tickets. There will be raffles, a silent and live auction, and entertainment. Last year’s event raised $13,000 to benefit families in District 211 who have encountered hardship from job losses, foreclosures, and downturns in the economy.

Funds will be used to provide clothes, school supplies, grocery cards, and other goods and opportunities that help homeless students to experience high school as they would have enjoyed it before they became homeless.

For more information, contact Cindy Eich at (847) 721-5580, or visit the R.A.H. website.


SHS St. Baldrick’s Success

Upon hearing the sound of hair clippers pressed to her head, sophomore Krystal Vezzetti excitedly clutched a sign that read $1,293, the amount she personally fundraised as she smiled and laughed in disbelief while cheap jerseys locks of Интерьер her hair fell to the ground and were placed in a bag, culminating to nothing but skin.

And she wasn’t alone.

St. Baldrick's Participants

SHS St. Baldrick's participants.

More than 170 students and faculty at Schaumburg High School participated in the annual St. Baldrick’s event by raising funds for children’s cancer cheap nba jerseys research presents and shaving their heads at a pep assembly on March 22. SHS raised more than $103,000 for the organization this year.

“I did this event because my grandpa died of cancer before I was born, and I never got to meet him,” Vezzetti said. “I just really wanted to make a difference in children’s lives. If I can make one little girl feel pretty with my hair, then that makes all of this worthwhile.”

Students who raised more than $500, and faculty members more than $1,000, had their heads shaved during the pep assembly, and were introduced to the packed auditorium during the event. All participants that raised more than $25 had their heads shaved during lunch hours.

St. Baldrick's participant

Superintendent of Schools Nancy Robb poses with Associate Superintendent for Administrative Services Dan Cates after he participated in the event.

The St. Baldrick’s event started at SHS in 2010 after SHS graduate John Knudson, a student who battled cancer since the age of 13, became involved in the organization and helped start the first St. Baldrick’s event at the school. On his St. Baldrick’s profile page, he said: “With little to look forward to, my friends, our school social worker Mrs. Haas and Beitrag I decided to start a St. Baldrick’s event at SHS. As soon as everything was approved, the event took off and before anyone could realize it, the entire school had an energy that I don’t think anyone could explain. For the first time for me, SHS felt like a real community of people who cared about each other.”

And the tradition Hello continues even after he’s left SHS. Knudson, who is in remission, is a student at the University of Illinois and is studying to become a doctor. He also was at this year’s event, and humbly stood up in the crowd when introduced during the assembly.

Participant getting hair shaved

Student Lauren De Carlo gets her head shaved during the pep assembly.

The event, which brought the cheap jerseys entire community together for one cause, kept everyone’s spirits high. One student, freshman and participant Amber Frost, said she did it for all the cheap nfl jerseys people wholesale mlb jerseys who are fighting cancer through her church.

“I thought it was a really great idea to help the kids out with my hair. I’m not doing anything with it, and mine will grow back, but theirs won’t. I feel pretty awesome right now, and the breeze feels nice, too,” she laughed.

Although this year’s successful event is over, participants continue to look toward the future.

“I wanted to do it in my grandpa’s honor, and the honor of all the children in the world,” said senior and St. Baldrick’s participant gesundes Ben Brito after shaving his head. “For all the children out there, I hope you are doing well and that you are fighting. Keep fighting and never give up, let’s beat cancer together.”

For more information on the St. Baldrick’s organization, click here.