Whitman giving back: a look at Charity Month


Courtesy of the Whitman SGA

Community members shred chicken at Shepherd’s Table during one of Charity Month’s Service Days.

By Scarlet Mann

Giggles erupt as the line to purchase a Singing Gram grows. Classrooms fill with laughter as seniors in hot pink crop tops serenade students with everyone’s favorite love songs. Little kids sprint as they cross the finish line of their first 5K, with their parents trailing happily behind them. 

The SGA designates each February and March as “Charity Month,” and this year, student leaders opted to donate proceeds from the events to Shepherd’s Table, a non-profit organization that provides food assistance and social services to underserved communities. From large-scale events like the Cupid Shuffle to the “Five Dolla Holla” Donut Sale, the SGA curated a lineup of 12 fundraisers that took place over the course of the two months. This year, student leaders set the donation goal at $15,000, and as of April 26, had raised $21,000, said SGA president-elect Jinara Weerakoon, a junior.

In addition to partaking in school-based fundraising events, students volunteered at Shepherd’s Table as part of Charity Month’s inaugural Service Days on Sundays. Students should understand the cause to which their donations are contributing, said Weerakoon. Interest was so high that some prospective volunteers were put on a waitlist. 

“It makes everyone a lot more conscious about the charity,” Weerakoon said. “It unites our school around this charity, which is why we have always been so successful during our Charity Month.” 

“Five Dolla Holla”

For Charity Month’s kickoff event, the SGA encouraged students to preorder a box of Krispy Kreme donuts for $13, with deliveries on Feb. 10. Sales totaled $988.

Cupid Shuffle 

The most significant departure from previous Charity Months was the Valentine’s Day-themed Cupid Shuffle on Feb. 11, which raised over $9,000. After the cancellation of Vike-a-Thon in 2022, the SGA worked with administrators to implement enhanced safety measures like onhand security, chaperones and enforced behavior guidelines.

Singing Grams

The Fomz spread the love on Feb. 14 through candy and cheer. They delivered over 300 Singing Grams in extravagant fashion, bursting into classrooms with a boombox blasting love songs. Priced at $5 each, Singing Grams brought in $1,600 — more than double the previous year’s amount of $700. 

“I thought about when I was a freshman seeing the Fomz run around,” said Fomz dancer Luke Kulback, a senior. “That was so hype and I wanted to do that.”

Chipotle Dine-Out

Students and families loaded up on guacamole and generosity at the March 11 Chipotle dine-out on Old Georgetown Rd. Diners who mentioned their Whitman affiliation ensured that 33% of their purchase went to Shepherd’s Table.

Video Game Tournament

The Video Game Tournament took place during lunch on Feb. 27 and 28, offering students an outlet to compete for a cause in Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart matchups. Participants paid a $5 entry fee for a spot on the bracket. While the Super Smash Bros tournament ended without a winner, Harry Cohen-Dumani won gold in Mario Kart.

March Madness

The SGA hosted a March Madness Bracket from March 6 to 11. There was a $5 fee to enter the tournament, in which students created a bracket and competed against others. In the end, science teacher Anne-Marie O’Donoghue had the most accurate predictions.

Spikeball Tournament

The Spikeball Tournament took place in the bus loop after school on March 16. Seniors Preston Kuhn and Walter Ingis came out on top, beating out a competitive lineup of contestants.

Bingo Night

At $5 per entry, Bingo Night took place on March 8 from 6 to 8 pm. The event primarily attracted families with elementary and middle school students, and was a great way to raise money while encouraging younger kids to get involved with their community, said SGA President Krishan Kumar, a senior.

“There’s big participation with the elementary school and middle school and family environment,” Kumar said. “We give out some hot chocolate and there’s just good vibes in the cafeteria.”

Pie Day

Student leaders’ prediction that “Pie in the Face” would continue to be a Charity Month favorite was right, Weerakoon said. On March 14, along with teachers and a handful of SGA members, assistant principal Gregory Miller sat in the commons, ready for a sweet treat. Students paid $5 to throw a pie at another student’s face, and $10 to pie a teacher in front of an audience of their peers.

Whitman Idol

Students auditioned for Whitman Idol on Feb. 13, vying for one of 11 slots in the competition. Community members paid $5 to watch the performances and see teachers select the next Whitman Idol.

“It’s just a very fun event that Whitman students like to show up for and like to support their friends at,” said Leadership team member Mira Chenok, a senior.

On March 21 in the auditorium, Junior Pearl Rehm, who sang “Falling” by Alicia Keys, emerged victorious.

“I’m so glad I get to sing on the same stage as all of these other people,” Rehm said after she won. “I’m just so happy to perform.”

Icebreaker 5k

Charity Month reached the finish line on March 26 with the Icebreaker 5k. For a $5 entry fee, participants walked or sprinted in a loop that began and ended at Whitman.

“A lot of people would do a 5k to support charity,” Kumar said. “The fact that it’s associated with Whitman is just a bonus.”