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Goose Creek High uses homecoming to help Conway Elementary

Published Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Conway Elementary students

Conway Elementary students pose with $50 book fair gift certificates purchased by funds raised by Goose Creek High School students. (Provided)

When most people think of homecoming at their high school, they reminisce on pageants, parades, big games and dances. For the last several years at Goose Creek High, homecoming has become much more. 

Each year those competing in the homecoming pageant are challenged to raise awareness and funds with the student body for a cause. In previous years, students raised money for school employees impacted by storms. In 2017, the school made a homecoming donation to the SCPCA. 

This fall, Hurricane Florence ripped through the Carolinas and impacted the families of many students attending Pee Dee and Grand Strand area schools. Teachers serving as advisors to the school’s homecoming committee suggested funds be raised and donated to Conway Elementary School. 

There was no debate as teachers and students heard stories of that area of the state being under water – stories of Conway Elementary putting up barricades to stop flooding and some families losing everything. 

At halftime of the homecoming game against Wando, it was announced the school raised $2,224 for Conway Elementary. About half of that was collected by 2018 Homecoming Queen Taylor Fields. 

“The kids always do a really good job,” said GCHS teacher and homecoming advisor Abbie Scott. “You are talking about teenagers going around and getting pennies, nickels, dimes and dollars, whatever they can get.” 

Ms. Scott said in many ways, the homecoming fundraiser is quickly becoming a favorite among students and participants. 

“They get to put themselves out there,” she said. “They get to help others while celebrating their school and celebrating themselves.” 

Funds donated to Conway Elementary were used by the school to provide $50 book fair gift certificates for several students. 

“Conway Elementary has certainly been blessed by the outpouring of support from those near and far. We can’t thank you enough for your kind, generous donation,” CES Principal Maquitta Davis wrote in a recent letter to GCHS Principal Shameka Washington. 

Letter from Conway Elementary

Getting the letter from Conway Elementary made this particular fundraiser magical for Goose Creek High teachers and students.

“It made me and the students very happy that we picked a school and impacted young children directly,” Scott said. “We didn’t do it for notoriety. Even if the kids didn’t know it was from us, they knew it was from other kids.” 

For the homecoming queen, the fundraiser and the letter from Conway Elementary show the reason for doing things in what’s become known as the “Gator way.” 

“The picture is bigger than winning,” Fields said. “It’s all about who you inspire. I think this says that the teachers and administrators not only care about the Goose Creek students, but students everywhere. If you are doing things the Gator way, you are doing things the right, respectful, caring and loving way.”

Brian Troutman