Gar-Field Class of ’88 Presents ‘Big Check’ to Help Current Students

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By Amy Taylor

Gar-Field High School, Class of 1988, school supplies, Give Back Prince William

Members of the Class of 1988 present a “big check” to Gar-Field High School for student school supplies

The Gar-Field High School Class of 1988 recently presented a “big check” to help current students. Reunion planners knew they wanted to do more than just relive senior prom moments and sip punch.

A teacher at Gar-Field High mentioned that there were approximately 1,000 students who could not afford their school supplies. Class members saw a need in the community and decided to take action.

“We learned that teachers had been donating out of their own pockets,” said Rebecca Barnes, publisher of Prince William Living and member of the Gar-Field High School Class of ’88.

Funds raised with the help of generous local businesses

Gar-Field Class of 1988 raised money by reaching out to classmates who could not attend, selling sponsorships to local businesses and selling reunion tickets.

The class of ‘88 raised $3,718.55 to purchase school supplies for students at Gar-Field.

“We are so incredibly blessed and fortunate to have alumni whose hearts are still attached to our school.  Academics are important, but so is the entire welfare of our students,” said Tiffany Sutton, school social worker at Gar-Field Senior High School.

Four members of the class of ‘88 presented a check to the school during a pep rally. Rebecca Barnes presented the check along with Lisa Ward, Jessica Hughes and Sandra Hardeman. All four of these women give back to their communities through their careers and in their spare time.

“Lisa [Ward] is a teacher with PWCS, Jessica [Hughes] is a priest and missionary who lives in Uganda and comes home a few months a year, and Sandra Hardeman lives and works locally and is active in the community,” said Barnes.

Barnes set up a fundraiser through Give Back Prince William, the 501(c)3 fundraising arm which is used to raise scholarship money for winners of the Prince William Living Extraordinary Teens Award, among other things.

Barnes wasn’t sure what to reaction expect from students when they presented the check.

“I didn’t think the kids would really care: it’s a pep rally.  But surprisingly, they were excited and cheered when the amount was announced,” Barnes said.

Local businesses who contributed to donating this generous amount were Brew Republic Bierworks at StonebridgeHilton Garden InnFiredog EntertainmentPrince William Living, and Cakes by Happy Eatery. 

The school’s students, faculty and alumni supply their Champions Closet with supplies for students in need throughout the year, according to Sutton. 

“It’s also wonderful to have faculty who donate items such as food, clothing, personal care, and school supplies to our Champions Closet throughout the year.  So far we have given food, clothing, personal care, and school supplies to 376 students/families.  By the end of the school year, we typically serve between 600-800 students/families combined.  With our alumni’s donation, we can stretch our resources even further,” Sutton said.

There’s still time to donate

Even though the school has already received their big check, it’s not too late to donate. Monetary donations can still be given at givebackpw.org/donate. Mention “GF school supplies” in the notes when you make a donation.  

“School supplies that are always needed are book bags, binders, graph calculators, and writing utensils. If the community would like to donate, they are always welcome to call me, or our principal Dr. Sadki. At the current time, we are in need of girl bottoms such as leggings, sweatpants, yoga pants, skinny jeans, etc.” Sutton said. Call her at 571-295-0605 to arrange a donation.  

Please consider supporting students in need by making a donation today!

Amy Taylor (ataylor@princewilliamliving.com) is a Contributing Writer for Prince William Living.

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