The university’s Student Government Association donated $500 this week
to nearby Eastern Guilford High School for its ongoing recovery efforts following a destructive fire one year ago.
The money was raised in a “Penny Wars” competition that involved 18 campus student groups. Leigh Hebbard, an assistant principal at Eastern Guilford, accepted the gift on behalf of his school at the Nov. 29 student government meeting.
“It’s a good opportunity for Elon to give back to the community,” Elon senior Rob Saunders, the SGA president, said of the donation. “We were fortunate to have the opportunity to give back to the school after what they went through last year.”
Student leaders chose Eastern as the beneficiary of their charity efforts because the Nov. 1, 2006, fire that destroyed the school occurred the same week as Elon’s Homecoming. A campus fireworks display was delayed when fire crews scheduled to be at the university as a safety measure were called to the blaze less than seven miles away.
“Most students here on campus had heard about the fire,” said Chase Rumley, a university junior and chair of the SGA 2007 Homecoming committee. “Since it was the one-year anniversary and it impacted our Homecoming, we thought it would be nice to help them out.”
A new school remains under construction on the site of the original facility. In the meantime, students attend class in a collection of portable classroom buildings.
“Although it has been a little over a year since our school and most of our instructional materials were lost in the fire, we still have needs that are difficult to meet through normal funding,” Hebbard said. “The inventory of equipment and supplies had been built up over many years, and one year is simply not enough time to replace it all. Our intent is to use this donation to help replace some of what was lost in the media center.”