Any student would know that Halloween is a big deal here at the Academy. Students have the opportunity to pay five dollars and dress up in the most ridiculous things they can think of. This year Teletubbies, bloody emergency room doctors, the three little pigs, ballerinas and even more roamed the halls and filled the classrooms. More than 75% of the school dressed down this year, including faculty.
Even though Halloween is one of the most exciting days of the year at the Academy, students might be too blind sided by the festivities to see what a great cause it actually is. All of the money raised goes towards Measles Initiative, an organization that provides vaccines for people in developing nations.
Measles is a very serious disease because it is extremely contagious. Ninety percent of people who come into contact with an infected person catch the disease. It weakens the immune system, opening up the body to even more harmful diseases. Measles mostly affects children under five years old and adults over the age of 20. Even if someone recovers from Measles, the disease can leave permanent disabilities. Roughly 540 children die from Measles each day.
The Measles Initiative raised $1,500 dollars from the Halloween Dress Down Fundraiser this year. That is equivalent to 1,500 lives, saving over two days’ worth of children. That is a very large accomplishment for a very little school in Gates Mills.
The Halloween fundraiser is not the only one the Measles Initiative holds. At the beginning of the year, the Used Uniform Sale took place, Measles’ biggest fundraiser. Graduating seniors have the opportunity to give their old uniforms to the school to sell to new students, or anyone looking for a new skirt or blazer. The students involved in the Measles Initiative lugged home bags of blouses, skirts, polos and khakis and washed everything. Blazers are even taken to the dry cleaner.
Measles raised $2,000 dollars, saving 2,000 lives and almost four days’ worth of dying children. Between the Halloween fundraiser and the Used Uniform Sale, $3,500 dollars has been raised. Put in perspective, that is enough to vaccinate roughly nine times the number of people that go to Gilmour.
The Measles Initiative does not stop there. In February, right around Valentine’s Day, they will hold the Have a Heart Campaign. Measles plans to continue educating the student body about the need for this vaccine and encourage them to participate in the fundraisers.
Congratulations to this community for their truly life saving efforts. The full impact of the community’s hard work and generosity will be more than anyone can imagine.