Doug Wang ’23
Last Wednesday, multiple community members donated meals to the annual dinner auction, organized by the school’s chapter of the Kucetekela Foundation (KF), a non-profit organization dedicated to funding education for disadvantaged Zambian students.
At the school, KF is dedicated to raising at least 5,000 dollars a year, enough to send one Zambian student to private secondary school. Throughout the year, the club organizes multiple fundraisers, including a root beer float sale, local goods fair, flower sale, and bake sales.
Typically raising between 800 and 2,000 dollars, the auction is a major annual fundraising event for the club. Faculty and staff members donated over 30 meals, including a barbecue with Mr. Charlie Noyes ’78, coordinator of faculty mentorship, and “make-your-own-pizza” with Mr. Chris Burchfield, instructor in English.
In an unusual twist, Mr. Mike Webster, general manager of Dining Services, offered cooking classes for auction. Mr. Webster said, “Food is something that brings us all together and unites us. [The fundraiser] is a good cause that we’re supporting, but for me, to give somebody [new] life experiences is just as valuable.”
On the day of the event, students bid on their desired meals in a silent auction in the main hallway. Summer Liu ’20, co-head of KF, said, “[The auction] is for a really good cause – helping others receive the education and privilege that we have. It is a great way to bond with faculty [and staff, as well].”
The KF board also held a bake sale at the auction, offering cookies, rice krispie treats, and puppy chow. In addition, the highest bidder in the entire auction won a $30 gift certificate for “Hotchkiss Delivers,” a student-run food-delivery service. Lucy Haswell ’20, co-head of KF, said, “This fundraiser is significant and successful because it benefits all parties involved. All students love home-cooked meals and getting to spend more time with their favorite teachers outside of class. Faculty members enjoy hosting students in their homes and getting to know students they might not have otherwise met. And of course, the money raised helps provide scholarships to academically excellent children in need.”
The fundraiser was met with positive feedback from students and faculty alike. Meera Kasturi ’22 said, “[The auction] is a really thoughtful thing to do, and it also excites the students.”
KF plans to hold additional fundraisers during the rest of the school year to reach its annual goal.