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Community raises the roof

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Community raises the roof

Community members walk through the streets of Hinsdale during the Habitat for Humanity 5K.

Community members walk through the streets of Hinsdale during the Habitat for Humanity 5K.

Eugenia Bouchelion

Community members walk through the streets of Hinsdale during the Habitat for Humanity 5K.

Eugenia Bouchelion

Eugenia Bouchelion

Community members walk through the streets of Hinsdale during the Habitat for Humanity 5K.

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On Sunday, Sept. 23 at 8 a.m., runners, walkers, and dog owners alike came together, meeting at the school, for the fifth annual Raise the Roof 5k hosted by Central’s Habitat for Humanity club.

The entrance fee for the 5k cost $25 per person, which included a T-shirt. After some utility costs, all proceeds went towards the $45,000 house sponsorship that club members build during the West Virginia summer trip.

The 5k is open to students and the public. With an average of 400 participants each year, the 5k raises a considerable amount of money.

“It’s obviously our most successful fundraiser in terms of the amount of money that we raise,” said Mr. Daniel Otahal, social studies teacher and Habitat sponsor of 17 years.

Habitat started the 5k four years ago also as an effort to get as many of the club’s 200 members involved as possible.

“I think [the 5k] has been a good way to get people more involved,” Mr. Otahal said. “It’s for a great cause and just a good event to kick off the year and keep as many of our club members involved as possible.”

Grace DeAngelis, junior and Habitat club member, showed her support along with some friends and her dog, Tucker. DeAngelis just joined Habitat this year, but so far really enjoys it, and aspires to go on the next summer trip.

“I really like being able to help people and see the difference that I’m making,” DeAngelis said. “I think everyone should be a part of [Habitat] because it’s a really cool thing to do.”

Lara Hayes, junior, also participated in the 5k. Though not a club member, Hayes wanted to show her support for such a great cause.

“It feels nice to be able to help someone out,” Hayes said.

Other fundraising events Habitat does for the summer trip include a candy fundraiser in late March, a pledge/sponsorship drive ongoing from February through May, and other small fundraisers throughout the year such as Chipotle nights.

The students that go on the summer trip are encouraged to do individual things to raise money and finance their part of the trip as well.

Courtesy of Habitat for Humanity
Seniors Molly Schwarz and Joey Malcolm pose in front of the house they helped build in West Virginia over the summer with Habitat for Humanity.

In order to be considered for the summer trip, students have to turn in an interest form along with a deposit of $650. It’s first come, first serve, and since only 40 students go on the trip, there is normally a wait list.

According to Molly Schwarz, senior and Habitat leadership board member, the order of the waitlist is determined by participation points that students have been collecting throughout the year.

Schwarz has been on the summer trip twice before, and can’t wait to go on this year’s trip.

“I feel incredibly lucky to take part in such an amazing opportunity,” Schwarz said. “It’s not every day that you get to completely change a family’s life in just one week.”

For  Schwarz, the trip has been a lesson on the power of hard work, dedication, and compassion. She also finds it a great way to bond with friends and other students she hasn’t spent a lot of time with.

“On this trip, every student becomes part of the Habitat family,” Schwarz said. “If you don’t bond along the 14 hour bus ride to West Virginia, you bond from working in the blistering sun, or downpour of rain. If that isn’t enough, you make friends–and enemies– during nightly card games.”

For more information on Habitat for Humanity and the summer trip, visit Mr. Otahal or Ms. Kelly Griffin, co-sponsor. 

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