Students fight against hurricanes with quarters to raise funds for victims

Students at Garrett Junior High School recently battled one another through four days of intense competition and sabotage to raise almost $3,000 for relief efforts to repair damage caused by recent hurricanes.

“We came up with the idea after watching the news and seeing what happened in Texas,” said McKenzie Alder, an eighth-grader and vice president of the student council.

To raise money, they organized Quarter Wars, in which each teacher with a sixth-period class had a container that the students would attempt to fill with quarters and bills. Each quarter collected earned 25 points and each dollar bill 100 points. To make it more competitive, students could sabotage other classes by donating pennies, nickels and dimes, which were worth negative points and reduced that classes’s overall point total yet still brought in money.

The object was to have the most points at the end of the week, and the class that did would receive a doughnut party. All the money that was raised would then be donated to the American Red Cross for disaster relief.

“It was fun because it was a competition,” said seventh-grader Camryn Schaper, who is also a student council member.

“Students were very excited about the sabotage part — some sneaking into other classes with gallon jugs of pennies,” said Principal Jamey Hood.

Student council member Ella Morris agreed about the sabotage and said that it was her favorite part of the fundraiser.

“I think it was fun when kids would come around and sabotage your class,” she said.

After the four days of collecting and sabotaging Sept. 5-8, the students raised $2,511.86. Heather Lawson’s math class had more than 63,000 points and won the competition. The points represented a total of $911.07, with one of her students, Nicholas Myers, donating $500 on his own.

“I was expecting about $400. I had no idea the kids would be so generous,” said Kathleen West, student council adviser. “So many teachers were good sports about it.”

In addition to the Quarter Wars, Garrett’s National Junior Honor Society donated $200, bringing the overall total to $2,711.89.

Student Council President Cameron Johnson said he thought that, in addition to allowing students to raise money, this fundraiser helped him and the student council prepare for their upcoming projects this year.

“We found out what the student body reacts to the most and can use it to get students more invested,” he said.

The Garrett Student Council conducts four fundraisers throughout the school year to provide funds and items for Emergency Aid of Boulder City. Its next one is a dodgeball tournament scheduled for Oct. 13. The cost to enter the tournament is a boxed breakfast item.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.