LORI GALLAGHER THE DAILY GLEANER
Logan Lean, 16, and her father, Shawn Lean, have put together a fundraising raffle in support of the Feed the Lions program at Leo Hayes High School. The lucky winner will receive a $4,000 vacation package. Tickets are $10 and the draw is Jan. 15.
A $10 raffle ticket gives you more than a chance to win a $4,000 vacation package, it can feed a student at Leo Hayes High School for a week.
The raffle is a fundraiser for the Feed the Lions program at the northside high school.
“At our school we have approximately 120 students at least per day who have no access to food,” says Kim Lightfoot, a teacher at LHHS and the adviser for the school’s Feed the Lions program. “We started a partnership with the Community Kitchen and started serving 60 lunches once a week. Two years later, we’re offering 120 lunches every single day, we have a backpack program to send food home with kids in need, we now have a five-day-a-week breakfast program”
They’re in full partnership with the Fredericton Community Kitchen on this initiative, and they aren’t alone.
“There are 11 schools in on this now,so it’s grown rather rapidly,” she says.“The Feed the Lions student committee started last year and it’s this group of amazing kids that care about their classmates in need.”
The students run every aspect of the program, she says, helping make lunches every Thursday at the Community Kitchen, handing out the lunches at LHHS daily, fundraising and more.
Logan Lean, 16, a Grade 11 student at LHHS, is one of those students.
“She joined our Feed the Lions committee this year and on the very first day we were talking about roles that the students could take and she came up and said,‘I’d really like to be on the fundraising committee,’” says Lightfoot. “So off she set and has come up with – with the help of her dad and her family – an amazing fundraiser that involved tremendous community support.”
Logan didn’t really have a plan when she joined the committee, she just knew she wanted to do something to help.
“I didn’t even really know what Feed the Lions was.My locker used to be down by the lunchroom and I was wondering why all these kids were lining up by this door,” she says.“Finally it came over the announcements that that’s what it was, that it was for kids who couldn’t afford or didn’t have access to food.”
She was shocked to hear it was an issue at her school. Logan went home and talked to her father about it. Shawn Lean’s reaction was they needed to figure out what they could do to help.That’s when Logan discovered the student committee and decided to join as soon as it started in the fall.
Once she did, and saw they needed someone to do fundraising, she knew it was a good fit for her.
“I called him (my dad) right after and said this is what I did. Now we have to figure out some fundraisers,” she says.“I was thinking of bake sales, and I thought of a 50/50. I was thinking of small stuff.”
Her dad got behind the 50/50 draws at the Junior Caps home games, even matching any funds raised, but he had something bigger in mind as well.
“I sent a note out to a bunch of business friends that I have and asked who was in, who would be interested” in being part of a raffle, says Lean.
Within 24 hours, he had 11 businesses involved. Two are his, Office Interiors and the Junior Caps. The others were Andy Williams Insurance, Worrall’s Furniture, Taylor Printing Group, Fredericton Mitsubishi, Delta Fredericton, Modern Electric,Fredericton Royals Baseball, Transformations Salon and Dairy Queen.
“The model is somewhat simple in the fact that if each one of those partners take 100 tickets, they’re either going to sell them or buy them, that’s the deal,” he says. “Then each one of those business partners would have at least 10 staff members, so each staff member has to sell a book of tickets.”
Add to this what the school can sell,the students on the Feed the Lions committee, etc.
Ten of the partners each threw in $400 to help purchase the travel card, with Taylor Printing taking care of printing all of the raffle tickets.
“What we’re going to do is give the $4,000 to the Feed the Lions in cheque format through our businesses, and they will see if they can get a travel agent to cut them a deal on that,”says Lean.
They’re still looking for a travel agent to partner with them on this project, as the hope is to put as much money as possible back into the Feed the Lions program.
“Team Logan has committed to raising $20,000 for the Feed the Lions program and we will meet or exceed that,”he says.
Lean is quick to note that Team Logan involves more than he and his daughter. It also includes Logan’s mother, stepfather, stepmother and other family members, as well as the businesses and community groups that stepped up to be part of this fundraiser.
This isn’t the first time Lean has helped out Feed the Lions. Last year, the 22 players he had on the Junior Caps each made a donation and that sum was matched by the team and by Office Interiors.
“It ended up being $1,800, so I went to the three schools on the north side, because I’m a true blue northsider,”he says, and donated $600 each to Nashwaaksis Middle School, Devon Middle School and LHHS.
Learning about the needs at area schools has been an eye-opener for everyone involved.
“The more people who understand the need is there, the more people who will get involved,” says Kim Hepditch, administrative assistant at LHHS. “Nobody knows what goes on behind other people’s doors.”
Lean hopes this is just the beginning for this fundraising raffle, with more businesses getting involved next year.
“The goal is to double what we do this year,”he says.
“It’s just amazing to have people like this step forward and get the community involvement and support,”says Light-foot. “This makes this doable, and sustainable. Our students in need hear about this and feel support by the community and by their classmates, and that’s a great feeling.”
The draw for the $4,000 vacation package is Jan. 15. Tickets are $10 and are available by contacting Hepditch at 444-4787. To make a donation of food or money to the Feed the Lions program, drop by LHHS any school day between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Shawn Lean is Office Interiors’ Vice President of Sales in New Brunswick