High school rivals will unite this week to support Howard County storm victims.
Student councils from Kokomo High School and Western High School have collaborated to organize a fundraiser leading up to Wednesday’s season opener boys basketball game at Memorial Gymnasium.
“This fundraiser to help with disaster relief is student-initiated and student-driven, and that’s why I am so proud of the student councils at both schools,” KHS Principal Mike Sargent said in a press release.
Selling T-shirts that say “765StandUp” will be the main contributor to the fundraiser. 765StandUp refers to a phrase Kokomo High School students tweeted after Sunday’s storms that asked volunteers to join the relief efforts.
On Monday, when classes were canceled due to a state of emergency in Kokomo, about 250 KHS students assembled to spend four hours working to clear debris and assist people whose homes had been damaged by the tornado. KHS student council members also collected donations on Tuesday and then matched the amount to present $600 to Kokomo Urban Outreach.
The fundraising efforts will continue with T-shirt sales this week; shirts are $10.
The Northwestern High School student council plans to hold a similar fundraiser. KHS and WHS students have contacted the student councils at Eastern High School and Taylor High School in an effort to make this a county-wide initiative involving all Howard County schools.
“It’s a reflection of the community,” said WHS Principal Rick Davis. “We have our pride in the schools we’re associated with and there’s the rivalry, but it’s great to see that in light of tragedy we can come together.”
KHS student council president Joey Hurlocker was instrumental in planning the fundraisers and volunteer efforts.
“The students wanted to do more and had discussed collecting money while we worked Sunday. So many Howard County families were affected by the storms,” Hurlocker said in a press release. “Many families lost power in addition to those families who sustained damage. Thousands of people lost their perishable food items when power was not restored for days.”
The blue and yellow “765StandUp” T-shirts will be on sale at the schools today and Tuesday as well as at Wednesday’s game, which starts at 6 p.m. with JV and varsity at 7:30 p.m.
Cheerleaders from KHS and WHS will collect goodwill donations, and schools may organize other fundraisers this week. At halftime of the varsity game, representatives from both schools will present a ceremonial check, donated by Humphrey Printing, to United Way of Howard County officials.
“No competition is involved in this fundraiser,” Hurlocker added. “We want to make it perfectly clear that Western and Kokomo are joining forces to help the tornado and storm victims.”