The Willistonian, Est. 1881

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Students, Alumni Step Up for “Thank a Wildcat Day”

Credit%3A+Williston.com.
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Students, Alumni Step Up for “Thank a Wildcat Day”

Credit: Williston.com.

Credit: Williston.com.

Credit: Williston.com.

Credit: Williston.com.

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On February 12 and 13, the advancement office organized “Thank a Wildcat Day,” a yearly drive in which current students thank alumni for donations. The results of the one day venture were remarkable, and exceeded expectations.

On “Thank a Wildcat Day,” the advancement office set a goal for all the classes to write as many thank you cards to alums that have given to the school. They set a goal of 1000 thank you cards in total for all six grades. If you wrote one, you got a piece of candy. If you wrote five, you got your name entered in a Tandem Gift card raffle. The class who had the most number of cards gets a Mt. Tom’s Ice Cream Social.

This day started in 2016 for Williston’s 175th anniversary celebration, did not occur last year due to a staffing transition in the advancement office, and then happened this year again.

Ellie Ballard is the Director of Annual giving at Williston. She had a huge part in organizing this day and having it run smoothly.

“Our Founders Day Giving challenge, which took place on Feb. 22, had a goal of 1,000 donors so it was the perfect opportunity to involve the students in that day by thanking our alumni donors who made a gift on Founders Day,” said Ms. Ballard.

“I think many students don’t think about or don’t realize that they are part of a much larger community of alumni who have come before them,” she added. “Alumni who were once students are now paying it forward so today’s students have the same opportunities they did.”

Gabby Jones is a senior who participated in this year’s “Thank a Wildcat Day” and also the one in 2016.

“I liked writing the cards. I thought it was more fun with they added a competitive side and incentive to it,” she said. “It is good for me that we are helping contribute to the advancement office during this busy time.”

“Thank a Wildcat Days are a great way for both students and alumni to realize they share a common experience and a school they love,” Ms. Ballard explained. “It was so heartening to see how enthusiastic students were about writing cards, and that act of writing and sending cards is an expression of gratitude will have a huge impact on our alumni community!”

In total, the school received more than 1,100 donations, and raised more than $75,000.

In the end, the senior class of 2018 won the Mt. Tom’s Ice Cream Social. The class of ’18 wrote 459 cards; 2019 wrote 252 card; 2020 wrote 310 cards; 2021 wrote 201 cards; and the middle school wrote 194 cards. This, in total, is 1,415 thank you cards, which is 415 over the goal!

The winners of the Tandem Gift Cards were Caroline Channel, Margaret Strange, and Jersey Strum.

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Marielle McHale '18, Staff Writer/Editor

Marielle McHale is a senior from Clifton Park, NY. She lives in Mem West, and in her free time, she plays hockey and hangs out with her friends.

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Students, Alumni Step Up for “Thank a Wildcat Day”