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School donates 20 tons of food to St. Patrick Center

James+Pantazi+26+and+Jack+Gaffney+26+load+items+into+the+storage+pod.+All+of+the+food+collected+was+donated+to+St.+Patrick+Center.
Will Timmons
James Pantazi ’26 and Jack Gaffney ’26 load items into the storage pod. All of the food collected was donated to St. Patrick Center.

It’s official, The Great Ignatian Challenge wrapped up Nov. 21. As a result, the school helped raise over 40,000 pounds of canned food to help feed St. Patrick Center and, therefore, received Dec. 8 off school.

“I am thrilled that the community came together with the students to double what we delivered last year,” Marketing Consultant Julia Mize said. “It was a total team effort and it was exciting to see it from start to finish.”

The challenge was made possible thanks to the help of the students as there were 10 senior leaders, 20 senior volunteers, and 20 sophomore volunteers.

“I feel like we’re helping a lot of people who need help,” senior leader Ashton Phillips 24’ said. “This is going to propel us for the next few years to be able to continue being strong in this challenge.”

Nine weigh-in days occurred from 7:30-8:30 am before school, and all the food collected on those days will stock St. Patrick Center through the summer of 2024.

The school was granted a day off on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, as they accomplished their goal with double as much food as last year.

“It’s super exciting that the students put their mind to something and they achieved their goal,” Mrs. Mize said. “And now they get the day off school.”

De Smet placed 8th out of 22 catholic high schools (the majority are Jesuit) in the national competition. $20,000 will be donated to the Spartan Fund from Fordham Prep alumnus, Jim Rowen to support the school’s efforts.

“It strikes me that beating the goal is a good reminder for all of us in this Advent season,” President Fr. Ronny O’Dwyer S.J. said. “Let us not merely dream about what is possible for our community, let’s dream of what’s more than possible.”

 

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