The purpose of the event was to raise awareness of childhood cancer and money to buy toys for Shands Children’s Hospital patients that spend their holidays in the hospital. Shands Children’s Hospital is located in Gainesville, Florida and is ranked in the top fifty pediatric hospitals in the country.
“The original goal was to raise $700,” said Peer Leadership teacher Farran Burnette.
Peer Leadership was able to raise over $1200 and will be going to the hospital this December to hand out gifts.
The game had an additional effect beyond solely raising money. Events like the flag football game change the school’s atmosphere in a positive way. The game provides a way for students to have fun and express themselves with their teachers outside of the school setting.
“Anytime you compete, it builds cohesion between students and teachers; it helps students see teachers as more than just someone who teaches behind a desk,” said science teacher Robert Peterson.
Maura Shiner played on the student team and explained her motivation.
“I wanted to participate in a friendly, fun competition with my friends and my teachers,” said Shiner.
Alexa Hernandez said, “I wanted to further my school spirit involvement as it is my last year in highschool.”
The game consisted of two, twenty minute halves with a continuous clock and a fifteen minute halftime that allowed the teams to regroup. During the halftime there was a cupcake eating contest that required audience participation.
The game ended with the teachers winning over the students for the second year in a row.
“I chose flag football because it’s football season and anytime you have an off week people are still looking for that Friday night activity,” said Burnette.
Though the concept sounds easy, a lot of work was put in to make this game a success.
“There was a lot we had to do,” said junior Dane Dyksterhouse.
“There was a lot of marketing and advertising,” said Tori Cordista.
“We had to make shirts, and then we had to sell the shirts. We also had to arrange for people to help and participate,” said Burnette.
“I was recruited by Mrs. Burnette in early September. She headed up the team as far the roster goes,” said social studies teacher Nathan Espy.
Peterson expressed that the game was a great time overall with good competition and the fact that it went to a great cause was a bonus.