Torrey Pines High School Relief Team paves the way to change


By The Falconer admin

Thirty-five personalized tiles have already been sold in the Torrey Pines High School Relief Team’s tile drive to raise money for UNICEF; tiles can be purchased by students and parents through the end of March and will be installed in front of the B-building in May or June.

“We wanted to do something that would leave a permanent mark” Relief Team co-president Caitlin Mackey (12) said. “This idea lets us raise money and beautify our campus at the same time.”

A tile currently costs $50, but students can purchase two for $75. A sponsorship from the ASB philanthropy fund will allow all of the proceeds to go directly to UNICEF.

Creating the project was a multilevel process, according to co-president Eden Berdugo (12). After the team brainstormed ideas and submitted a proposal for the tile drive, they met with principal Brett Killeen to seek approval for the project.

“We had to look at the money side of it and make sure that it was legal,” Killeen said. “It’s a capital improvement, so the district is involved. Everything has to be agreed on.”

Order forms are available on the TPHS website and students can choose the text and design on the tile. The tiles will be purchased at a discount through CeramiCafe in the Del Mar Highlands Center and will be painted by the National Arts Honor Society.

“We have designs for sports, music, drama or pretty much whatever activities people do at school,” Mackey said. “People can choose from the symbols and their name and symbol will be there forever.”

The project has been well-received by both the staff and administration, according to Mackey. The group is now focusing on marketing the project to students and increasing participation.

“We put a link to the order form on the website and we also had an article in the school newsletter,” Relief Team board member Charlie Reed said. “We’re hoping to advertise in clubs and on sports teams, and we’re also going to be standing outside of sports games and school events to get parents coming through.”

The group chose UNICEF as the recipient of the proceeds because of the charity’s commitment to children’s issues all around the world, according to Reed. The club was especially fond of the fact that UNICEF selects numerous different causes to contribute to throughout the course of the year.

The TP Relief Team was formed after the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010. The team’s goal is to host major fundraisers for various charities around the world, according to Reed.

“Last year we had bake sales that raised a lot of money,” Reed said. “But this year we wanted something directly related to our school.”

The Relief Team is different from other clubs at TPHS because it is composed of leaders from many different clubs, including Key Club and Interact Club. This allows the group to hold major fundraisers, according to adviser Matt Chess.

“The purpose of Relief Team is to have the ability to move a lot of kids into action quickly,” Chess said. “Each leader has their own club that they have access to.”

So far the group feels that the project has been a success, and it hopes that its efforts will leave a permanent mark, both on the TPHS campus and around the world.

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