For their 30th reunion, the Gar-Field High School class of 1988 wanted to do more than dress up and reminisce over “Top 40” songs from the 1980s.
Niki Plenty, a 1988 Gar-Field graduate, was shopping for school supplies last fall when she ran into a teacher from Gar-Field who was shopping for items for her classroom. “Normally, I would have just donated supplies to her right then and there, but she informed me that there were approximately 1,000 students at Gar-Field who were in need and cannot afford school supplies,” said Plenty. She immediately emailed her classmate Rebecca Barnes. “I figured maybe since we were in the process of organizing our upcoming high school reunion, we could somehow get the alumni involved to help.”
When Prince William Living publisher Rebecca Barnes got involved, she knew what they had to do. “We couldn’t just let this sit unanswered. As graduates, we promised to make a mark in the world. How could we turn a blind eye to a need right in our own high school?” Plenty was on board with the idea; the mission was launched.
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. Gar-Field Class of 1988 is raising money through their reunion ticket sales, seeking donations from classmates who cannot attend, as well as selling sponsorships to local businesses.
Classmate Tony Brula shared why this drive is important to him. “I grew up in this community. My family is still here, and my heart is still here. It will forever be home to me. I want to be able to give back to the community and make sure children have everything they need to focus on school.” said Brula. “We were pretty lucky growing up and didn’t have to worry about things like this, so not only is it important to remember where we came from but do what is right for those less fortunate.”
The class of 1988 is currently looking for local drop spots for school supplies, donations and in-kind trade donations for this drive. Participating sponsors will be included in follow up articles on princewilliamliving.com Businesses that are interested in sponsoring the event can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for sponsorship packages. Monetary donations for the drive can be given at www.givebackpw.org/donate. Be sure to mention GF school supplies in the notes.
By Prince William Living