Bearden hopes two new competitions will jumpstart Second Harvest

Allie Gruszkiewicz, Staff Writer

Bearden is participating in new competitions this year to raise student interest and donations for Second Harvest.

One unique addition is a competition with West Valley Middle School, which has always helped contribute to Bearden’s total. That will still be the case this year, but West Valley has also challenged Bearden to see which school can raise the most cans.

SGA sponsor Mrs. Rebecca Nutter said that if this challenge was in place last year, Bearden would have lost.

“Hopefully it’ll be enough of an incentive to give us a push because our numbers went down a lot from when we competed against Farragut,” Mrs. Nutter said.

Because of the nature of this competition, the prize for the winning school is mainly “bragging rights”, said Erin Dolvin, a Bearden senior and the Second Harvest Committee Chairman.

Another competition that is new this year is the Second Harvest Football Jamboree. Though Bearden is not matched against any one school in competition, it will compete against each participating school in the region to donate the most food and money to Second Harvest.

Mrs. Nutter said that the winning school will likely receive a small concert or a DJ.

As Bearden has no direct competition with any local high schools, a drop in student participation has been a challenge to Second Harvest fundraising. Senior and Second Harvest Committee Chairman Piper Givens said that although Bearden raised 250,000 pounds of food in her freshman year, the number went down to 165,000 after Farragut stopped competing directly with Bearden.

“Participation has definitely gone down,” Givens said. “So I think we’re trying to find new ways to get people involved.”

Aimed at raising student participation, the new competitions give students a goal to work toward.

“I’m hoping [the new competitions] will encourage students to donate more because they have something to work for,” Dolvin said.

With this in mind, SGA hopes that Bearden will make a substantial contribution to Second Harvest, competition or not.

“We’ve done a good job in years past, especially since we didn’t have much of an incentive,” Mrs. Nutter said.