Weather Forecast


Hastings High School students raise $2,012 for typhoon relief

Sophomores try to pull their way to victory. Pictured, from left, are Trevor Walderon, Kiki Radke, Spencer Kopp, Graham Johnson, Maddy LaCroix, Cece Roche, Wyatt Kruse, Steph Morgen, Alyssa Robinson and Logan Welshons. Star Gazette photos by Katrina Styx

Last week, hundreds of Hastings High School students cut class in the middle of the day to gather in the gymnasium for a special event.

Each year, the high school holds a charity fundraiser tug of war event. Usually it’s held in February, but this year’s class officers and Assistant Principal Bob Majeski decided to move it to November. The reason was the recipient of the charity funds.

This year, HHS is sending funds to the Philippines to help with typhoon relief. Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines Nov. 8 and is among the most powerful storms ever recorded. It devastated the city of Tacloban, leaving more than 5,000 dead and more than 23,000 people injured.

When the typhoon hit, a few Filipino youths were well away from the danger and the damage. They are foreign exchange students currently studying here in Hastings who have family or know people affected by the typhoon, and they wanted to do something to help.

The students at HHS stepped up to help their new classmates by using the annual tug of war fundraiser to contribute to U.S. aid going into the Philippines. Students paid $2 to leave their activity period to watch the tug of war. The event raised $1,710.80, about $200 more than the $1,500 goal.

Besides the tug of war event, students collected money for Movember, which raises funds for men’s health awareness. At HHS, about $144 of that fundraiser was contributed to the typhoon relief fundraiser. Faculty also contributed $145.

All told, HHS raised $2,012 for the Philippines.

The Filipino students said they were overwhelmed by the show of support.

“It feels good that the school cares,” said Maria Nonelyn Saliente, a senior.

She was joined in saying “Salamat,” which means “thank you,” by senior Danica Saliente and junior Khazier Jawari.

The students and faculty composed a letter to the American Red Cross to accompany the funds.

“As a school we wanted to make a difference and help out millions of people that are in desperate need of care,” they wrote in one part of the letter. “We have many leaders in our school that made this happen and made sure that we would be successful in our efforts. Our school is full of supportive people that believe a disaster like this is a priority. Together we accomplished something amazing! We believe that our school now has a sense of what we are capable of when we all contribute to a common goal. We hope that this money will make an impact!”