Phone-A-Thon Halfway to Goal of $135,000

Elizabeth Bolin, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

Is there any better way to fund a high school than to use student volunteers to call benefactors and ask for donations?

That is precisely what Notre Dame Academy does each year with the annual Phone-A-Thon.

Plenty of people are aware of the project because of how important it is to the school, but here’s a closer at what Phone-A-Thon really is.

“Phone-A-Thon is one of our fundraising events.  We have about five big fundraising activities  that we do every year. We have Phone-A-Thon, Golf Classic, Triton Fest, Triton Runway, and our Spring Appeal,” explained Claire Teitz, one of the people who manages Phone-A-Thon.

“The reason we have to raise money is because NDA is a private school, and tuition can be expensive. The actual tuition this year is $9320 but families only pay $5700, and the difference is made up with our fundraising efforts.”

There have been six days so far, with about 146 students involved. The target for this year is $135,000, and NDA is already over halfway to that target, with up to five more nights ahead.

“We usually have clubs volunteer, and so far we’ve had the soccer team, the girls tennis team, the cross country team, golf team, and ASTRA,” Teitz said.

It’s a nice way to see how NDA is still affecting graduates years after they’ve left. “There’s one man who’s a graduate and he’s got siblings who are graduates and he donates $12,500 himself, in honor of his four siblings,” Teitz shared. “It really is a fun experience.”

“I was worried that we wouldn’t know how to make the calls, but the training helped so much,” said freshman Elizabeth Schaupp. “I liked that we were able to call families that we may be friends with or recognize.”

Chloe Capomaccio, another caller, agrees with Schaupp. “I also liked how we had the sheets to tell us what to say, so it wouldn’t be awkward when we were on the phone.”

Teitz has been a part of Phone-A-Thon for years, but the tradition predates her days at NDA. “We’ve been doing Phone-A-Thon as far back as the predecessor schools, so it’s sort of a tradition here at NDA.”

“We usually call about 7,000 numbers, and we want to get through as many as we can.”

Teitz encourages students to get involved. “Phone-a-thon is very important, it’s a lot of fun, we’d like to have as many people as possible be a part of it, and we feed you and train you. It’s just very important and we appreciate everyone who comes.”