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SJAM Wins United Way School Spirit Award

Posted on Thursday, March 09, 2017
SJAM at United Way gala

(L-R): United Way CEO Jeff Vallentin congratulates SJAM campaigner Michelyn Gallant, Carolyn Taylor, Christine Mckinty and Brittany Jackson on their School Spirit Award, with campaign manager Krista Warnke.

By ROB FAULKNER

The United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton has recognized Sir John A. Macdonald secondary at its annual gala for demonstrating community spirit through leadership, fundraising and community involvement.

SJAM staff working on the school’s 2016 United Way campaign received the School Spirit Award, one of the United Way’s 2016 Spirit of Community Awards, at the United Way’s annual Evening of Celebration on March 8 at LIUNA Station on James Street North.

SJAM Vice-Principal Michelyn Gallant and teacher Carolyn Taylor recalled how the campaign team went from classroom to classroom, explaining what the agency is, to staff and students alike. Donations came from unexpected places. One student in a French class even donated her lunch money.

“The campaign created a lot of buzz and fun at the school – it was great for team building,” Gallant said.

The silent auction was a success as staff tried to take home jewelry, pottery and other prizes. The chance to win a private guitar lesson with blues virtuoso Steve Strongman was so popular that Strongman is now doing two private lessons.

Fellow SJAM campaigners Christine Mckinty and Brittany Jackson also attended the gala. The school raised $3,000 in its November 2016 campaign, up from $1,525 in 2015. HWDSB’s total across all schools and departments was $40,546, up from $35,797 in 2015.

The gala was a chance for hundreds of dedicated individuals and organizations to celebrate after working tirelessly on 2016 campaigns to make our community a better place. Other HWDSB staff attended from campaigns at the Education Centre, Glenwood, Billy Green and Janet Lee.

Representing Glenwood, a special day school for students with special needs, Amanda Zacharewicz explained how this year’s one-week experiment with a daily coffee cart proved such a hit that it added a second week. “We love caffeine at my school,” she said with a smile.

Representing Janet Lee and Billy Green, Donna Fullarton said pajama days and other themed Friday events were a hit. Supporting the United Way is important to her, she said, especially because it funds agencies that work on mental health and well-being.

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