STOW: Senior Survival week started on Tuesday with 28 teams of two camping out in the Stow-Munroe Falls High School library for two full days to raise money for the charity of their choice.
While 56 seniors entered, only two earned the survivor bragging rights.
Teammates Abbey Laber and Breanna Beltz were the final survivors standing on Thursday afternoon. The duo collected $1531.98 for Leni Bug Foundation.
Laber, president of student council, said students had to fill out an application to be a part of the event, the charities had to all be different and be recognized as a nonprofit by the federal government.
“We’ve been doing this for about five years,” said Beltz, vice-president of student council. “The underclassmen see us in the library and think we’re crazy, but everyone aspires to be seniors for senior survival week.”
To be a part of survival week means sleeping on floors (or air mattresses if your one of the teams), showering in the locker rooms and relying on family and outside friends to bring the team’s food. Students are not allowed to leave except for school-function related activities such as sports or band practice, but even those are on school property.
“It’s awful and as horrible as people say. It’s exhausting,” Beltz said.
More than half the teams were eliminated for raising the least amount of money at the end of Tuesday. More teams were eliminated on Wednesday and the final teams will compete to continue to raise funds until this afternoon.
The money raised by each team will go directly to the charity they picked, regardless of being eliminated, but the team who raises the most gets bragging rights.
Geometry/Algebra II teacher Mike Love, who is also the Student Council co-adviser, said it was aspiring to watch the students make connections with the community to raise money for great causes.
“I’ll be honest, this is an event I wasn’t too excited about--staying in the school all night, but the kids have been fantastic,” he said. “They have great attitudes and they were willing to take a lot of risks and develop great business skills. If it weren’t for them, it would be really hard to do this. They are phenomenal.”
The most popular way to raise funds is through food, but student have been creative. One group is raffling off chances to pie teachers in the face while other groups are bringing in pets to gain attention. Senior Matt Chadsey and his teammate had a stand selling Starbucks coffee and bagels that were donated from a local store.
Alliances were formed, deals were made, and Beltz said it was comical watching the students on the first day of the event.
So far, the seniors have raised a total of more than $7,000 and hope to reach $10,000 by the end of Thursday.
“It’s everything that I hoped it would be. As gruesome as it is being here, all day and bored out of your mind, it’s still amazing to think what we can do with this many kids,” Beltz said.