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High school rivalry raises nearly $39,000 for United Way

Posted: September 24, 2013 7:30 p.m.
Updated: September 25, 2013 1:00 a.m.
Photos courtesy of Johnny Deal/Bowtie Photography

Camden and Lugoff-Elgin high schools raised more than $38,000 in one week for the United Way of Kershaw County. The two schools competed to see who culd raise the most money during the week leading up to the rivalry game, which aired on Maxpreps.com, an affiliate of CBS Sports. The game aired as one of 11 high school games MaxPreps will air this season. The Camden High School Bulldogs won the fundraiser and the foot game, but the entire Kershaw County community will benefit.

In one week, Camden and Lugoff-Elgin high schools raised $38,779.25 for the United Way of Kershaw County. Camden High School (CHS) took the lead in this year’s United Way challenge versus Lugoff-Elgin High School (L-EHS).

For the last five years, the two schools have competed in some friendly competition to benefit the entire Kershaw County community leading up to their annual rivalry game. 

For two years in a row, CHS has won both the fundraiser and the football game. Both schools have donated more than $118,000 to benefit various areas in Kershaw County, Kershaw County School District Director for Communications Mary Anne Byrd said. 

CHS Principal Dan Matthews said he is very proud of both schools and the effort each has put into the contest.

“We talk at CHS often about giving back to our community. That, as leaders, we are at our best when we are helping others to reach for their best. Angie Brennen, CHS’ student council advisor, and CHS’ total student body all contributed to helping the Kershaw County’s community's “least of these,” Matthews said.

He said a haircut he committed to as a wager for student commitment to the United Way fundraiser is just a small price to pay to help contribute to the spirit and drive of the student body.

Tommy Gladden, who has been principal of L-EHS’ Tommy Gladden for eight years, said he has witnessed the annual fundraising week has “change drastically and by far more productively” because of the school district’s partnership with United Way.

“We have a focus and an ongoing program that we can all build on as we develop good citizens for this community,” Gladden said. “ You want students to make connections and to build relationships in order for them to have ownership of their school. This week will provide more academic incentive than any activity we could conduct. Students that feel part of a school are more successful and most graduate at a higher rate.”  

Gladden said L-EHS raised about $5,000 more than last year and that he is proud of both schools “incredible feat” of raising money for the local United Way. 

United Way President Donny Supplee said the effort students put to raise nearly $39,000 is “incredible.” Although technically CHS won the challenge, the entire community is blessed to have a people who care about helping others, Supplee said.

“The funds these students raised, along with all the other gifts we receive during this year’s campaign, will change thousands of lives for good,” Supplee said. “Our partner agencies and our United Way touch about one in five citizens in our county each year -- that’s over 12,000 individuals. Many of our programs impact students and their parents and families directly: from meals on wheels to seniors, to the free medical clinic, to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Red Cross, the summer food program and the like -- we touch people’s lives every day of the year.”

Both schools thanked their student council, elementary and middle schools, teachers, parents and students.

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