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Missing the Drive for Mission Drive

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As a sea of blue plaid cheers its champions on from the bleachers, two adversaries waddle to opposing sides of the ring. Packed into inflated fat suits, they stare each other down and mentally prepare for battle. Then, knowing that their epic showdown will pop up on countless Snapchat stories later that day, the warriors collide.

This is, of course, Mission Drive’s sumo wrestling event, in which faculty and students alike sacrifice their dignity for the chance to raise funds for the altruistic Sisters of the Presentation.

For the rare Pres girl who doesn’t relish the chance to watch her peers barrel around in glorified beach balls, Mission Drive offers countless other fundraisers. From Dunk 4 Nuns, a basketball game held between students and teachers, to the endless stream of scrumptious baked goods (yes, Taylor Farley, I’m looking at you), there is always something for everyone.

While Mission Drive is filled with fun activities, it also serves a more profound purpose that truly exemplifies our school’s history.  The Sisters of the Presentation founded our school back in 1962 and continue to do charitable work throughout the world. The money we raise goes to their schools in Nicaragua and Guatemala and provides teachers’ salaries, students’ shoes, and school lunches. In addition, our donations can “pay to fix the roof and put an air conditioning in – things that they don’t normally have the funds for,” says CI director Lindsay Swoboda, who organizes the annual drives.

Despite the truly admirable efforts of the Community Involvement office, this Mission Drive did not get off to the most impressive start. In fact, the drive was extended by a full week in order to raise more much-needed money. Although we did exceed our goal, raising well over $16,500, our collective performance failed to match last year’s staggering numbers.

There are, of course, external factors to consider. “The issue was the calendar, which is nobody’s fault,” says Swoboda. “Every single class level had a retreat at some point during Mission Drive.” In addition, because Easter break landed so early in the year, it caused some mild disorientation among the student body.

Unfortunately, Mission Drive also arrives at the tail end of the drive season. After fundraiser after fundraiser, Pres girls are in need of a break. “It was difficult to devote lunch time to helping, and it was hard to remember in the mornings to bring money,” says junior Emma Fontana.

While the funds raised for Mag Drive and Penny Drive go to worthy causes, those events should never undermine Mission Drive, which speaks to our school’s identity on a much deeper level.

All things considered, this year’s drive qualifies as a tepid success. We still have plenty of room for improvement next year, but, knowing Pres girls, that will be easily resolved. In fact, some students are already brainstorming ways to up the bar. “If we diversify some of the things we provide as fundraisers,” says Fontana, who plans to sell handmade necklaces in the future, “maybe it can produce a better turnout.”

Pres has a stellar reputation for service, and Mission Drive gives all students a unique opportunity to support a cause much larger than themselves. We should never give that up – and for as long as our motto is “Not words but deeds,” we won’t.

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Missing the Drive for Mission Drive