By Jessica Stuewe
For the Fredericksburg High School Class of 2020, many of the plans they had leading up to graduation changed when they did not return to classes after Spring Break due to COVID-19.
One of those plans was the yearly senior trip, where funds had been raised, for the class to spend one last fun day together.
The senior class officers made the decision to donate the senior trip money of $10,850 to the Fredericksburg Food Pantry.
“We wanted to keep it local,” senior class vice president Amy Dittmar said. “The Food Pantry can do a lot with the money that you give them. They can turn your $5 into much more because of the deals that they have with grocery stores.”
Dittmar and the other class officers, Caitie Huff, Noah Downey, Sydney Holster, Emilia Smajstrla, Ryan Davis and Chad Braden, felt that giving back to the community in its time of need was the best decision with what to do with the money they earned for the senior trip.
“I’m just glad that our money will go to making people smile and easing the hardships people are facing right now,” Dittmar said. “Even though we cannot have our senior trip, it’s going to a good cause, and that makes me feel good.”
According to Huff, who is the class co-president, the senior class raised a little over $11,000 for their senior trip for every senior class member to go to Six Flags.
Engravers donated a big check for them to hand over to the food pantry.
“We raised that money through working concession stands and selling programs, and our biggest fundraiser was prom last year,” Huff said. “Since we don’t get to have our senior trip this year, we had all this money, and we wondered, ‘What could we do with it?’”
The seniors could have donated the money for an item to the school like a park bench or purchased a keepsake item for each senior, but they felt that was not useful to the times that we are in right now.
“I had the idea that we could donate the money to a charity or organization in the name of our class, and everyone was on board with that,” Huff said. “Amy Dittmar had the idea to donate it to the Food Pantry, and I think the Food Pantry is a great option right now during the pandemic. We wanted the money to be used in a beneficial way in our community.”
According to Merrilyn Hartmann, secretary of the Fredericksburg Food Pantry Board, the money will only be used for food.
It will come in the front door, and it will go out the back door to clients.
“I am astounded with what they have done,” Hartmann said. “It is disappointing that they could not go on their school trip, but what a wonderful way for them to redirect that money in an unselfish and giving way in thinking about the community. That is just heartwarming. Thank you to this awesome Class of 2020.”