Chardon Students Engaged In Hurricane Harvey Relief

Laine Hursh

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The flood waters on TV depict a shocking image that has inspired two Chardon students to lend a helping hand. Seniors Katie Zmarzly and Jeni Bender have made it their senior project to help those in need.  Hurricane Harvey has damaged schools in Houston, along with many other schools along the southeast coast of Texas. According to an article from Fox News, Harvey has torn up about 53 schools in Houston, Texas and left standing water in 200 of them. Of the 215,000 students in the Houston Independent School District, nearly 12,000 of them will have to be relocated to other schools by the start of the school year.

In the wake of this tragedy, Katie and Jeni have teamed up and are formulating a plan to help the students affected by Harvey. They are devising a plan to get all of the schools in the Western Reserve Conference to work together. The schools in the WRC include Brush, Eastlake North, Kenston, Madison, Mayfield, Riverside, Willoughby South, and Chardon.

“We’ve partnered with the Western Reserve Athletic Association, our whole conference, and we’re going to all work together to raise funds,” Mrs. Blackburn explained. Their intention is for each school in to find a sister school that was damaged by Hurricane Harvey and raise money for that school. The goal of working together is to get a bigger dollar amount by challenging and encouraging the other schools in our conference.

“There have been coaches [in Texas] that have contacted people up here that need new equipment because it has all been destroyed,” Bender explained. “Right now we are working on T-shirts, wristbands, and I know Mr. Mizens leadership class is going to do a blood drive to raise money too. It’s going to be a big group effort with all sorts of people that want to help.”

The project will be donation based but they are looking for sponsors to help support. Jeni and Katie plan to have shirts made within the next two weeks and get every school in the Western Reserve Conference on board with their plan. There will be more on this story in the weeks to come.


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