Season of Scarlett will strengthen school traditionsDec 09, 2021 03:34PM ● By Jet Burnham
Mountain Ridge High student body officers held a trunk or treat event for the Angel’s Hands Foundation and chose them as the recipient of this year’s Seasons of Scarlett charity drive. (Photo courtesy of Richard Hoonakker.)
By Jet Burnham | [email protected]
On Dec. 13, members of Mountain Ridge High School’s drill, dance and cheer teams will compete in a basketball game unlike any other this year. Spectators will have the power to influence the game, paying money to switch out players, or to distract one of the teams from scoring by requiring them to do a silly task.
“It's not even real basketball,” said head cheerleader Hollie Makuakane, who participated in the fundraising game two years ago. “You're supposed to get the ball in the net, but half the time you have to army crawl or do cheer stunts. I remember just laughing the whole entire time.”
The entertaining basketball game is one of the big money-makers of MRHS’s Season of Scarlett charity drive.
“We didn't get to do it last year, but our first year was huge,” SBO Vice President Rylie Schmidt said. “It's very competitive and very fun.”
The winners of the game aren’t the team who makes the most baskets, but the team who gets the most donations, which will be given to Angel’s Hands Foundation to help families with children who have a rare or undiagnosed disability.
Other Season of Scarlett fundraising activities include a bingo night, volleyball tournament, hot chocolate drive thru and restaurant nights, where a portion of the restaurant's proceeds will be donated to the charity.
Every evening from Nov. 29 to Dec. 17, groups of MRHS students will go door-to-door in the community to perform odd jobs and to collect donations.
Last year, students were unable to participate in Odd Jobs due to public safety concerns.
“Especially the seniors, having to miss out on their charity season—it was heartbreaking,” Schmidt said.
Traditions such as Season of Scarlett are how a school develops their culture, said Schmidt, but Mountain Ridge High hasn’t had an uninterrupted school year since it opened in 2019.
“With it being such a young school, our traditions aren't really traditions yet,” Schmidt said. “Because last year, we couldn't actually do anything and the year before it was the first year so there wasn't a tradition. So this is the first year that we're trying to really emphasize those traditions.”
She hopes that students will be involved as much as they can in this year’s in-school and after school activities to develop stronger school spirit.
The effect the COVID-19 pandemic had on charity season last year, as well as other traditional high school activities, has been a unifying experience for the student body, said Schmidt.
“We all kind of came really close during COVID and during shutdowns, because we were all going through the same thing,” Schmidt said.
SBO adviser Richard Hoonakker said the frustrations of last year—not being able to execute their ideas—has made his 24 student government leaders even more enthusiastic about planning this year’s events. He said they are planning better, working harder, and staying after school longer.
“They are all self-motivated and I think it's because they realized how much they value being able to work or being able to do something,” Hoonakker said.
Season of Scarlett is an important tradition because teenagers learn to work for something that’s bigger than themselves and see the impact they can have, Hoonakker said. The focus is more on the service they give than on the amount of money they raise.
“I want the kids to work their guts out and be proud of the amount they raise,” Hoonakker said. “I never want their success to be measured on the number.”
Still, the closing assembly, when the amount of money the students have raised is revealed, is a highlight of Season of Scarlett.
“I cannot describe the feeling of seeing that number and being able to present that check to that family, to know that we helped them and that they won’t have to stress for Christmas,” Schmidt said. “It’s an incredible feeling.”