Philanthropic Club helps out southeast Albertans
The Philanthropic Club at Eagle Butte High School in Dunmore certainly lived up to its name last week.
The four-member student group donated a total of $4,000 June 9 to three groups which help southeastern Alberta be a little better place.
In total, three groups benefitted from the club including Mustard Seed $1,500 (helping feed local individual and families hot meals); HALO Rescue $1,500 and Medicine Hat Food Bank - $1,000.
Raible explains that Sam Montoya had a chess club at the school and he wanted them to give back to the school and community. So, in order to raise funds to help out others they started selling pizza over selected noon-lunch time hours twice a week. Money raised would go to different groups or projects.
When Montoya retired from the group, the torch was passed, and there were no intentions of letting the spirit decline. The goal is the club becomes self-sufficient and the students run and manage it themselves.
“He passed the club to me; students wanted to keep going,” explains Raibale who noted there was discussion of renaming it the Pizza Club because interest in chess was waning. They decided on Philanthropic Club.
This year’s full time members included Terrence Ostrowski and Justin Konosky (EBHS Grade 10); Jessyca Vandor and Katelyn Vos (Grade 11). Raible noted there were others who helped occasionally and got major assistance from school librarian Sherry Anton who did a lot of work with the group.
In previous years, Habitat for Humanity and Redcliff Youth Club have been beneficiaries.
Raible says it wasn’t overly difficult to select the groups this year.
In adhering to the pandemic guidelines and keep the group numbers low, Raible handed the cheques to representatives of each group.
The only aspect which would have made it more perfect is the fact that the students weren’t on hand to see the receivers’ responses but regardless, Raible was so proud of everyone involved and loved seeing the residual affects of the work done.
“It’s hard to put into words on doing this and teaching them to empower people who are truly in need,” explains Raible. “Just to be able to support these groups is special. Two lunch hors a week and to a teenager, that’s a lot of what they have for free time during a day. To see how it translated in the end, you develop a greater appreciation for the year. …to see the ripple effect of small acts of kindness (combined together).
“They weren’t doing this to eat pizza; they were doing it to give back.”
The group decided on HALO, the Mustard Seed and the food bank for various reasons. HALO was an obvious choice as the Eagle Butte is the only high school besides South Central in Oyen within the Prairie Rose School Division. Raible noted that the air ambulance “represented the demographic.”
As such, the student body is generally comprised of students who come from rural schools and area such as Irvine, Seven Persons, Jenner, Ralston, Redcliff and Schuler. Raible says they either know somebody who was helped by HALO or are well aware of the importance of such a service in the remote areas of southeast Alberta.
The Mustard Seed the group liked how it helped individual families get through rough life patches. The food bank has helped with Raible and his breakfast club program.
This program was important as some students sometimes wouldn’t have any food at home and this was a way that they got some food in their system to start the day. Raible would pay for supplies out of his own pocket but the food bank would help a lot as well.
“We really appreciated their help,” explained Raible. “We wanted the money to get into the hands of those who supported the school.”
As for next year, Raible is counting on his great core of four as they will all be in Grade 11 or 12 the next school year. He wants to grow the volunteer base so as to expand their programs and philanthropy. He was so proud by their work that he reached out to local MLAs Michaela Glasgo and Drew Barnes as well as MP Glen Motz who will be writing letters of appreciation. “They never did this for recognition but we want them to know people noticed their work,” he said.
Scott Raible presents cheque to the Mustard Seed and to HALO.