Senior fundraising sans Santa

photo+by+Marco+Rea

photo by Marco Rea

Alice Yu

While it’s still too early for holiday cheer, a change in the plans for this year’s senior fundraiser might dampen the mood before the holiday season arrives. Senior class advisor, Melissa Coil, officially announced RBHS would not be hosting a “Breakfast with Santa” at RBHS this December at a Student Council senior meeting Sept. 2.
“The student council seniors are all in charge of it, and last year’s student council seniors, they didn’t put in very much for it, so it was a lot of work that wasn’t being put in,” Student Council President Kelly McDonald said. “So the teachers had to do a lot of it, and we ended up making not as much money as we wanted. It was just a lot more work for not very much money.”
Since the winter of 1993, RBHS seniors have set-up a winter-wonderland on campus for families in the community to eat breakfast and for young children to create crafts and meet Santa. Unfortunately, the decreasing amount of attendees also means less profit.
“There was a ton of work that the seniors had to put in, with face-painting, feeding, getting Santas, trying to decorate, and all the different things, so it was kind of frantic for the seniors as they had finals coming up,” Student Council member Kelly Wilkerson said. “Then teachers had to be here over the course of the day, before to help set up because you have to have supervision in the school, and with all that work, it was fun, but there wasn’t a lot of profit, especially with the decrease in people coming.”
For other clubs, such as National Honor Society, who use the annual “Breakfast with Santa” as one of their largest service opportunities, leaders are tasked with finding an alternative.
“I think more than anything, it just means that we have to find a new service opportunity to replace it,” NHS president David Feng said. “Ultimately, I don’t think that’s going to be very hard since there’s plenty of opportunities to do things around Columbia, so it won’t be much of a challenge to replace it.”
But for many seniors who attended “Breakfast with Santa” as children, and hoped to return the favor by donning an elf costume, the lack of this service opportunity is more than disappointing.
“It’s kind of bittersweet because I remember going to it as a kid, and I was looking forward to working it and being on the other side of it,” senior Sydney Magee said. “I’m also sad that it’s gone because it’s a really good service opportunities for us seniors to do.”
In regards to finding a replacement for the senior fundraiser, Student Council is looking into selling senior shirts and making a profit off of those sales. While Jostens does sell senior shirts, they’re usually priced in the $20-$50 range. Student Council is thinking of creating their own shirts and selling them for a much cheaper price to the senior class of 2016.
“We’re going to have an art contest to see which shirt design, and we’re going to choose a shirt,” McDonald said. “Then we’re going to have cheap shirts that’ll say, ’seniors’ and the year that we graduate, instead of having expensive shirts. I think that’s what we’re going to do, but it’s not official yet.”
With this alternative, the purpose of the senior fundraiser will still be intact, but the opportunity to bring a little bit of wonder and magic to children in the community will be lost. 
“I’m a little sad, just because when I was a little girl, we came and it was so cool to see Santa. You can see Santa in lots of places, but more than anything, I was going to go to Rock Bridge, and I could see all these people were so big, and my brothers helped,” Wilkerson said. “I was always happy about it, and when I found out it was going away, I was kind of sad, but I know there’s always going to be an uphill change and there’ll be something good for the fundraiser next.”
By Alice Yu
Seniors set up craft tables and fun activities around campus for children at last year’s “Breakfast with Santa”, held on Saturday, December 6, 2014. From breakfast, to face-painting, to meeting Santa, the senior class and a few faculty members brought in some holiday spirit while fundraising. Featured photo by Marco Rea.