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Demons vs. Dogs

Lugoff-Elgin, Camden high schools put competitive spirit to work for United Way

Posted: September 15, 2010 9:41 a.m.
Updated: September 15, 2010 9:38 a.m.

As the high school football season in Kershaw County begins to heat up, so has the decades-long, deep-seated rivalry between Camden High School (CHS) and Lugoff-Elgin High School (L-EHS).

But with only a few days before their rival game, the two high schools have kicked their competition into high gear this year by holding their second annual United Way of Kershaw County fund-raiser competition.

“We started working on this during mid-July. Our student council has been really excited about it and things are beginning to pick up,” said L-EHS student body president Meredith Toole. “The rivalry with Camden has been around for a long time, and we just wanted to turn it into something positive.”

Last year, the schools raised a combined total of $13,000 for United Way in only five days. L-EHS collected a little more than $2,400. CHS raised a little more than $10,600.

“Of course we want to beat the amount that we raised last year,” said Camden High School student body president Bryan Williams. “But our personal goal was to let the student body know that we were doing this for the people in the community, and that it wasn’t all about just having a competition.”

But that doesn’t mean that CHS and L-EHS haven’t been holding their share of fund-raising activities during their respective spirit weeks.

At L-EHS, Meredith said the school has already held a car wash and a Hat Day in efforts to raise money for the United Way. Before the end of the week, the school will hold bake sales and class challenges, have a “Senior Servant Day,” sell Live United/Beat Camden T-shirts and Sonic cards, and continue a “penny sabotage” game to raise money.

“We’ve already had a carnival and we still have a few big events coming up. We’re going to hold a ‘Dog Roast,’ which has kind of been an old tradition here,” Meredith said. “And that should be really great.”

The Dog Roast is scheduled for 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday at the back of the L-EHS stadium.

Not one to be outdone, Bryan said the CHS student body has also held a variety of fund-raising events during the week.
The school has held bake sales, T-shirt sales, a penny wars competition between the different classes and a “BADDEST Legs Contest” -- in which senior sports players have their legs voted on by students.

“We had a carnival last year, and we’re going to have an even bigger one this year,” Bryan said. “We started planning for this week around May and June, but we didn’t start putting it into action until July. Everyone has just been very excited and really supportive. We just started the Penny Wars competition and the total amount raised has been really high this year. It seems as if they’ve had a lot of fun, and of course they want to beat Lugoff.”

The carnival is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Zemp Stadium.

At the CHS vs. L-EHS game Friday night, the schools will present a “giant” check to United Way with the combined fund-raising totals. Meredith said the schools would like to donate a total of $15,000 to United Way this year, by raising $7,500 each.

“In the past, we had a normal spirit week with no real purpose. But when (2010 CHS graduate) Brennan Stevens came up with the idea of holding a fund-raiser for United Way last year, we just wanted to just keep it going because it was such a great idea,” Bryan said. “This is a new tradition that we’re going to try and keep up.”

L-EHS Principal Tommy Gladden said he couldn’t be happier to see the students transform their traditional spirit weeks into an opportunity to help others in the community.

“This is the perfect avenue for student engagement. This is not a beat Camden or Lugoff kind of thing, this is a ‘Let’s see what we can do to raise money for United Way,’” Gladden said. “They’re competing for a good cause and people from Kershaw County will benefit.”

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