Dec. 22, 2021
Polar Plunge raises $6,300 for Children’s Hospital
In its inaugural year, the USCHS Polar Plunge raised $6,304.86 to benefit Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh through the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Led by Student Council, students and staff competed for the highest cumulative donation totals with the top eight "taking the plunge." The top individual donor for each had the honor of pouring the bucket of ice water on their respective person.
Top 8 Fundraisers (and his/her top donor):
- Ben Brooks, $732 (Kristen Albertini)
- Emily Robbibaro, English teacher, $655 (Victoria Crowley)
- Marina Gzikowski, $525.30 (John Tripodes)
- Anna Hess, $505 (Jessica Christensen)
- Amanda Haas, math teacher, $454 (Molly Maher)
- Michael Barbarita, $420.06 (Jack Dietrick)
- Brady Bartusiak, $281 (Sarah Christensen)
- Mahesh Lakshminarayanan, $257 (Ben Tucker)
Dec. 7, 2021
USCHS Polar Plunge to benefit Children’s Hospital
Upper St. Clair High School Student Council is hosting a Polar Plunge to support UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh through the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Now through Dec. 21, students and staff are competing to see who can raise the most donations. The eight “winners” will take a plunge in the school’s pool – after being doused with a bucket of ice water.
Thirty-four students and teachers have signed up with online donor accounts through DonorDrive. Their goal is to be among the top fundraisers in order to advance in each of the four elimination rounds throughout the two-week period.
- Round 1: Tuesday, Dec. 7 – Thursday, Dec. 9 at 2:20 – top 32 fundraisers advance
- Round 2: Friday, Dec. 10 – Monday, Dec. 13 at 2:20 – top 24 fundraisers advance
- Round 3: Tuesday, Dec. 14 – Thursday, Dec. 16 – top 16 fundraisers advance
- Final round: Friday, Dec, 17 – Tuesday, Dec. 21 at 2:20 – final 8 determined
“Once you are eliminated, your DonorDrive will still be active and you can still accept donations, they just won't bring you back into the game,” RJ Shontz, Student Council president, said. “Our suggestion is for you to tell your fan base to donate their money to someone still in the running. All the money goes to Children's hospital regardless of which account it is attached to!”
Students and staff are reaching out to friends, family and the greater USC community to donate. Some are using social media to help spread the word.
“Within the first 24 hours of the fundraising page opening, over $2,000 was raised,” RJ said. “Our initial fundraising goal was $1,000. Our new goal is simply to keep up the Polar Plunge excitement and raise as much money for Children's Hospital as possible.”
Philanthropy, especially during the winter holidays, is an important USCHS Student Council.
“Student council picks a project every year to benefit our community during the holiday season. In past years, we have rung Salvation Army bells, raised money to purchase holiday dinners for local families, and packed shoeboxes for children in need of daily necessities,” RJ said. “This year we wanted to do something different, while continuing our school's history of working with Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.”
The Polar Plunge is a new event for USCHS and Student Council. Early reports about student and staff feedback are positive.
“Launching a new event can be uncertain; student council is always eager to see if it is going to take off or not,” RJ said. “So far, feedback on the Polar Plunge has been better than we could have imagined. Students and staff are coming together for children in our area, and are having fun in doing so. For example, one teacher, Mrs. Robbibaro, already bought a snorkel to take the plunge with!”
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals that support the health of 10 million kids each year across the United States and Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment, and charitable care. Funds raised in the Polar Plunge will support UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.