Jefferson Council Shatters Expectations with CHVRTERTHON
Author Grady McPeak
Raking in a staggering $53,104.56 and amassing an attendance of over 500 students, CHVRTERTHON proved to be a massive success. For the fifth iteration of the event benefitting the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, Charter’s Jefferson Council had set a goal of raising $35,000--more than the event had ever raised before. When the money was counted at the very end of the event, the group found that they had exceeded that goal by over 150%.
To commemorate five years of Charterthon, the Jefferson Council expanded the event from a three-hour school dance to an all-night lock-in that lasted eight hours. It not only featured Cab Calloway’s own DJ Rah and DJ Joey G in Charter’s A-gym all night, but also included a 3 v. 3 basketball tournament and dodgeball tournament in the B-gym and Jeopardy! games hosted by Charter alumnus Mohan Malhotra (class of 2016) who represented New York University in the 2017 Jeopardy! College Championship. In the Cab Calloway theater, acoustic duo Corn and the Husk, rock band Afterburn, and the ever-popular Shooting Shark (all of which are composed entirely of Charter students) played for the Charterthon guests through the night with both original and cover music. As the event drew to a close and the sun began to rise, guests were treated to breakfast catered by Lucky’s diner.
In tandem with the new event, the Jefferson Council also employed many new strategies to generate interest and donations. These included numerous “Sign-up Days” in Charter’s computer lab, which aimed to get kids to sign up on the Charterthon website, a platform where students made accounts to help them ask family members for donations and keep track of how much money they, their peers, and their class have raised. Other sign-up initiatives took place in study halls throughout a selected period of school days. The group also had a larger social media presence than in years past, exciting and informing their fellow students on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
This emphasis on engaging the school community translated very well at the event itself. Charter junior and CHVRTERTHON attendee Haley Jordan said, “I loved that Charterthon was a lock-in this year, and I think that the change inspired a lot more people to come out and support the event.” Furthermore, this spirit extended even to guests at the event who weren’t Charter students, such as Felipe Rocha, who recalls, “As a Cab student, I’d have expected to feel out of the loop, but the fun was so inclusive and contagious that I wished it had gone on longer!” This sense of community and inclusion made the already financially successful event even more special for Jefferson Council members such as Vice President of Public Relations Minnie Proud, who said, “Seeing the months of hard work and fundraising culminate in such a fantastic night was truly nothing short of spectacular. As excited as we all were to reveal the final amount, the best part for me was seeing how engaged, aware, and excited the entire Charter community became in the time leading up to the event. From the basketball teams to the bands to the 500+ students attending the event, it's an incredible feeling to watch the entire community unite behind a common goal especially when it's one that matters so much to so many people.”
After CHVRTERTHON, Jefferson Council ran a series of weekly seminars at the Thomas Edison Charter School in Wilmington in support of the L.Y.T.E. (Leading Youth Through Empowerment) organization, whose mission is: “to increase access for low-income middle school students to top performing Delaware high schools through personal mentoring, rigorous teaching, and leadership.” In these seminars, council members taught lessons on STEM-related topics such as chemistry and experimental design to some of the school’s eighth-graders--a handful of which will be attending CSW as freshmen this fall.
On April 27th, the Jefferson Council officially finished their school year with the annual Jefferson Awards banquet, in which they recapped their achievements over the past 8 months and honored the dedicated community service of Charter students who are not involved in the council but have done great work in the community on their own.