Buchanan students, including SADD president Maddy Vorrath, middle, transport canned goods to a trailer outside Buchanan High School Thursday. Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

Archived Story

Buchanan juniors win food drive, school sets record

Published 5:13pm Thursday, December 20, 2012

BUCHANAN — For at least a day, the junior class got to reign over the seniors at Buchanan High School.

In a competition to collect the most canned goods for charity, the juniors edged the seniors 1,171 to 958.

The big winner, however, are the families that will be using the canned goods through the Niles Salvation Army.

“This is such a huge boost for us … this year donations are down to crippling levels,” said Jan Nowak, of the Salvation Army.  “I should’ve expected Buchanan to come through because they always do.”

The annual food drive competition included the eighth- through 12th-grade classes and teachers. Overall, the school collected 4,507 items, including cash ($1 equals two cans).

“We had around 3,000 last year, so we smashed that,” said Steve Young, director of Buchanan’s Students Against Destructive Decisions, which oversaw the food drive. “The kids really stepped up.”

Dara Molica, SADD vice president, counted the cans each day, but wasn’t sure who would win until Young announced the results over the intercom system Thursday afternoon.

“I was like, ‘whoa, did they get that wrong?’” she said. “I honestly didn’t think we were going to.”

Students began collecting Dec. 11 and extended the deadline a few days longer till Thursday. Young said the seniors were winning until the final day.

“I’m glad we ended up extending the date because, just within two weeks, we’ve gathered over 4,000 cans, and that’s going to make a difference,” said Maddy Vorrath, SADD president. “We heard the food pantries were really bare so we wanted to help them out as much as possible and really worked hard at it.”

The eighth-grade class finished third with 866 cans collected, while the sophomores were fourth with 678, the freshmen fifth with 547 and the teachers with 287.

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