Willoughby-Eastlake High Schools Raise $30,564 to Benefit United Way of Lake County

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United Way of Lake County Benefits from $30,564 Raised by Students of Willoughby-Eastlake High Schools

Mentor, OH (September 27, 2017) –  This past Friday, September 22, 2017, Willoughby-Eastlake School Superintendent Steve Thompson took to the field during halftime of the rival North and South High School football game to announce that students from both schools raised a combined total of $30,564 to benefit the work of United Way of Lake County (UWLC).


Thompson, flanked by high school principals Eric Frei from North High School and Zach Weagley from South High School, along with students and administrators, announced that students from South High School raised $18,014 and students from North High School raised $12,550.

“I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the students at North and South and their support of United Way of Lake County.  The commitment of our students to the most vulnerable residents in our county is evidenced by their remarkable donation of more than $30,000.  I am proud to represent such outstanding, high-caliber students,” said Thompson.

The schools are fierce rivals both on and off the field and competed during the week leading up to the football game to raise the most money for UWLC during their school’s spirit week.

According to North High School Principle Eric Frei, “We are so proud of our kids for their fundraising efforts on behalf of United Way. Our students were a little disappointed to have lost the friendly competition with South, but the real winners were our local families in need who will benefit from their generosity.”

As each high school celebrated spirit week, the big focus was on fundraising, and students took the role of helping their community seriously.

The schools worked the entire week by incorporating fundraising activities within their spirit week celebrations to keep the experience fun. This included Olympic game competitions; the “jailing” of teachers; staff verse senior volleyball competitions; and one of the most anticipated events, where principals, teachers and administrators take shaving cream pies to the face.  

Erin Dodson, South High School teacher and head coach of Lady Softball, served as UWLC’s campaign administrator at South. Dodson notes, “United Way Week is one of the most exciting and memorable weeks of the school year. It is great to see the whole South High community working towards such a meaningful goal, giving back to their community, and having so much fun in the process.”

Zachary Weagley, South High School Principle states, “The campaign was completely student led with our students setting a goal and pushing the message of being a hero for United Way and those in need throughout Lake County. Three of our senior leaders promoted giving back throughout the week because we are committed to paying it forward and making a positive impact in the community. This is a mentality that our students have adopted over the last few years. The spirit of giving back was alive and well during spirit week and I am proud of what the South High School Community accomplished, as well as the efforts of the students at North High School. For two schools to raise over $30,000 is a great feat and a reflection of the amazing students and staff in the Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools.”

Students of South High School surpassed their $15,000 fundraising goal while students of North High School more than quadrupled the $3,000 they raised three years ago in 20114.  

According to UWLC President and CEO Jennifer McCarty, “There are only winners when our community comes together like the Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools have done. They are a great partner in our fight for the health, education and financial stability of Lake County’s most vulnerable residents. I’m grateful to the students, educators and administrators for joining us in this fight. The money they raised will make a real impact on our residents in need.”

While South High ultimately won the football game, both North and South made big wins for their community.

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