Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

April 26, 2014

AHS reaches Riley fundraising goal

By Steven Penn steven.penn@flyergroup.com
Hendricks County Flyer

---- — AVON — Avon High School (AHS) students wrapped up their Riley fundraising with a Spring Carnival and the Riley Dance Marathon last Saturday.

This year, AHS broke its fundraising goal of $20,000 by raising $23,274.10 with various fundraisers.

Sarah Fowler, AHS teacher and student government sponsor, said the carnival, which is in its second year, featured activities from each club at school, as well as a petting zoo.

The 500 Festival Princesses also served as special guests.

“We have an art auction, a bounce house, and all the clubs made up different activities to kind of go along with their club and promoting their club or just fun carnival-type activities,” Fowler said.

AHS senior Maria Khan, who is vice president of academic affairs for the student government, explained how the carnival takes shape.

“All these activities are actually thought up completely by the club presidents — they organize it,” she said. “If they need help with it, they can ask us, but for the most part the sponsors and presidents get the supplies, they think of the games and they’re the ones who organize it completely. This is really a whole group effort as far as making this happen. We do more of the setting up and organizational, but all the activities are completely planned by the clubs.”

The idea is for the carnival to allow the community to get involved.

“We’ve done the Dance Marathon for quite a few years now, this is just our second year for the carnival,” Fowler said. “We thought it would be nice since the marathon is just for the high school kids to kind of do something that involved the whole community.”

AHS senior Mark Bode, who is president of the executive board, said the events take a lot of planning.

“The dance marathon is something that we do every year,” he said. “We start planning it in the summer before so we’ve been working at this for 10 months or so. Every three days, our executive board meets and that’s a seven-student board that runs events throughout the year. We have events leading up to the Riley Dance Marathon that count toward our total like the Trunk or Treat and this Spring Carnival.”

Bode said what made a big difference in fundraising was the AHS Lip Dub video that went viral and garnered widespread media attention.

“We set a goal at the beginning of the year at $20,000 and we were in a pretty good spot to reach that goal before the lip dub went viral, but once the lip dub went viral, I think we made over $4,000 with that,” he said.

Khan said the amount of support from the lip dub has surprised just about everyone involved.

“The support we’ve gotten from the lip dub has been amazing,” she said. “For the lip dub, we’ve gotten donations from 27 states and then Canada and Australia, as well. The amount that the lip dub went out is just really crazy. It’s really awesome to see the community really appreciate our work and just see that teenagers can do something positive.”

Khan said the events last weekend were a culmination of the fundraising efforts.

“We do different events throughout the whole year and then we lead up to this day where we have the Spring Carnival, which connects the marathon with the families and then the dance marathon which is five and a half hours of games and dancing and there’s a ton of food,” she said. “It’s just a really fun event, but also raising a lot of money for the kids.”