By Greg Price
It will be a school year long quest for students at St. Mary’s School as they continue to care for those far less fortunate than themselves.
Earlier this month saw the school participate in the Chalice Cup, a staff/student hockey game at the Taber Arena to raise money for the Chalice Canada project.
Melody Vienneau’s Grade 12 Religion 35 classes wanted to spearhead a community service project that would involve the entire school.
Founded in 1994 by Fr. Patrick Cosgrove, Chalice (Canada) began as an extension of the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging (CFCA) in the United States. Operating out of the church rectory in Springhill, NS, Chalice opened an appeals office to book speaking opportunities for Deacons across Canada. With just Fr. Pat and one volunteer, the foundation for the organization was laid. In 1996 Chalice became an autonomous Canadian Charity under the name Christian Child Care International, with a final name change in 2007 – Chalice (Canada).
“It’s something we have done since the start of the year and it was set forth by the Grade 12s and the leadership class. There have been a number of smaller projects we’ve been raising money with like pie throwing contests and bake sales,” said Mark Boschee, who helped organize the Chalice Cup hockey game.
Miss Cassie Mucciarone’s CTS Foods class organized a spaghetti lunch and Miss Melody Vienneau and the Grade 12s organized and ran a pie throw. The latest event was this past week’s Chalice Cup hockey game where $560 was raised from students.
“The hockey game encompassed the whole school. It was students versus teachers and alumni game. The idea was, for every dollar you brought in for your class, you earned one point. Then you had a team designate to cheer for, so if your team won the game, you got so many points for that,” said Boschee. “And depending how loud you cheered at the game, you got so many points for that. The winning class gets a pizza party and I also have a signed Brandon Davidson hockey stick that goes to one of the students in the winning class, or, if they choose, a Bluetooth speaker.”
Students had the idea to create a Monopoly Board to record how much money is raised. On the first trip around the Monopoly Board, students place green check marks on items they can afford to have raised funds to purchase for an area of the world in dire need. On the second trip around the board, students will try and purchase the more expensive items. At the end of the year, the Grade 12s will decide if the school will purchase all the small items or combine all the funds to purchase a large gift, such as a water system for $600 or house construction for $2,800. All items that are available to purchase are listed at https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/TicketingCatalog.aspx?eventid=148817.
“Our goal is to get around the whole Monopoly Board. Chalice is an organization put out by the Catholic Church and they take the money and distribute it to a number of different villages,” said Boschee. “The board says things like $15 for a water well. So if we raise that much money we put a check mark on that. Our objective is to get around the whole board and then you see the things you can do with the money through the whole board.”
Chalice has been recognized by MoneySense Magazine as one of the best run Canadian Charities for the past six years (receiving an A+ rating for the past three years). Designed to help donors get a better idea for how efficiently charities use their money, the MoneySense rating system provides Canadians with valuable information to make smart giving decisions.
Chalice commits over 90 percent of its spending in support of programs. In 2014, $19.8 million was spent directly on programs providing nutrition, education and shelter to over 49,000 children and the elderly in 15 developing countries. Creating and nurturing relationships of life and love, over the past year Chalice has supported 14 community projects, served over 5,000 children through the Chalice Children Nutrition Fund, provided scholarships for 41 students and built over 100 houses in Haiti.