Morinville active with $200,000.00 150th Anniversary Legacy Project

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Sofiya Chvojka fills juice cups prior to the start of the Shrove Tuesday pancake breakfast hosted by the school’s Grade 3 students. – Lucie Roy Photo

by Lucie Roy

The Greater St. Albert Catholic School Division (GSACSD) has committed to raising $200,000.00 by the end of the 2015-2016 school year to assist with reconstruction efforts in the Philippines.

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the school division, GSACD has partnered with The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace for their Build-a-School Campaign.

The project seeks to aid the Philippines, hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan Nov. 7, 2013, a storm that killed 6300 people.

The GSACSD initiative is to help build a low-cost and disaster resilient school that is designed to withstand typhoons and also be used as an evacuation center when required. Construction in Tacloban City in the Leyte province will take two years.

Two Morinville schools have already started to pitch in on the division project. Morinville Community High School and Ecole Notre Dame began this week with projects. Each GCACSD school has a goal to raise $10,000 for the Legacy project.

MCHS Principal Todd Eistetter said all proceeds from the school’s Feb. 18 Charity Coffee House would go to the project, as will monies from a recipe book now in the works.

“Everything we collect will go towards the Philippines Build-a-School Campaign,” he said Eistetter. “The goal for the 2014/2015 year is to raise the equivalent of $18 per student at MCHS and then raise the same amount in 2015/2016, all supporting this initiative. This [money] would help construct one classroom for a city that no longer has any schools.”

Prior to the coffee house, the school held two events: one at the student / faculty hockey game and another at the Senior Boys’ Basketball Tournament. The two events raised just over $900.

Notre Dame began their role Shrove Tuesday. Vice Principal Lisa Kleparchuk said the school’s Pancakes and PJ’s Feb. 17 was their first fundraiser for the Development and Peace project.

The toonies students brought for their pancakes and juice raised more than $885 from the event. During the presentation on the Philippines, Kleparchuk told students the United Nations have reported that 14 million were affected by the disaster with four million displaced.

Students got a glimpse of what the new school and evacuation center would look like: The steel frame, arched structure will be elevated one meter from the ground to prevent damage from storm surges. The design allows cross ventilation through wide jalousie windows and operable storm shutters to totally close off the entire building during typhoons.

“This shows solidarity with the people of Philippines,” Kleparchuk told students during the assembly. “Solidarity is not a feeling of vague compassion or shallow distress at the misfortunes of so many people both near and far. On the contrary, it is a caring and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good. [It] is to say to the good of all and of each individual because we are really responsible for all.”

Notre Dame’s next fundraising event Mar. 6 during World Day of Prayer.

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