Winthrop’s schools and businesses have a long history of working together to raise money for a good cause, but the high school’s latest effort to help the hungry has been energized by the donation of a new car.

Winthrop High School Principal Keith Morin said his students are raising money for the Good Shepherd Food Bank and the Winthrop Food Pantry in advance of Friday’s School Spirit Challenge. The pep rally will air from 6 to 8 a.m. Friday on WGME.

To prepare for the rally, students and staff reached out to the business community to seek donations of money, food and services.

“What makes Winthrop unique is the fact that our local businesses have not only contributed money and food, but also their time in our fundraising effort,” Morin said.

A number of local business owners donated money and others are doing in-kind donations, such as donating breakfast for the students the morning of the rally and bus service to get the high school students to the school for the 5:45 a.m. taping.

“We have parents that have already organized car pools,” Morin said. “It’s been a really exciting time for the whole community to get behind this.”

Perhaps the most significant donation, however, came from Charlie’s Family of Dealerships, which donated a 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage with a sticker price of more than $14,000. The school is selling 700 tickets for $20 each, all of which will go to help the hungry. The tickets are being sold at several town shops and banks and at the high school, including at sporting events.

While most of the money is earmarked for Good Shepherd, which provides food to pantries throughout the state, a quarter of the cash donations will go to the Winthrop Food Bank. Food bank Executive Director JoEllen Cottrell said the pantry serves an average of 110 families per month and provides 50 supplemental food packs every week for students in all three of the town’s schools.

“The school’s been a big supporter for us,” Cottrell said.

The high school typically holds a fall fundraiser for the food pantry called Make a Difference Day. Morin said the food and money fundraiser will be moved to the spring this year to accommodate School Spirit Challenge.

“That’s just for the local food pantry,” Morin said.

Cottrell said the pantry is 100 percent dependent upon donations and volunteers. The school’s fundraisers not only provide financial support, but go a long way toward reminding residents that there are hungry families in their own community.

“It’s all about raising awareness in addition to the money they raise for us and the food they bring in,” Cottrell said.

Winthrop High School students are preparing for the rally by organizing decorations and the rally itself. Students also were in charge of designing and distributing the tickets for the car raffle, Morin said.

“Throughout the past month all the students have been collecting food and donations for the Good Shepherd Food Bank,” he said.

The school has chosen 22 businesses, assigning each to one of 22 home rooms, to fuel the competition between the classes. Each home room will create a banner to thank its businesses and the one judged best, based on writing and style that best reflects that business, will win points.

Morin said the banners are a way of thanking the community that has faithfully supported the school.

“It’s so nice to hear that community still gathers for good causes within their local community of Winthrop, but also the state at large,” Morin said. “The Winthrop community itself just steps up to the plate constantly to help out.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4


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