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Project Peanut Butter Event Raises $4,900
Pictured: Dr. Mark Manary (center) poses with students and volunteers who helped to organize the Project Peanut Butter event.
Story by Will Smith '14
Stomachs and wallets lighter, many St. Louis U. High students left the cafeteria Thursday feeling a little more enlightened, having participated in Dr. Mark Manary’s Project Peanut Butter, an effort to help malnourished children in Africa.
Manary came to SLUH to talk about the work he has done on Project Peanut Butter in recent years. Students could buy a sandwich and milk for $5.00 with options to buy more sandwiches for an additional $2.50 each. No activity period snack, or regular lunch were served. The only food in the cafeteria was the peanut butter sandwiches, cheese sandwiches, and milk. Students who did not want to participate in the event had to bring their own lunch. Students were not required but strongly urged to participate, with all proceeds going directly to Project Peanut Butter. SLUH’s director of food service Kathy Hylla and Food Service Consultants generously donated all of the milk, while Safety National paid for the sandwiches.
John Paino '76, who works for Safety National, brought the idea to President David Laughlin and Anzalone. Safety National is one of the longest continual providers of Excess Workers’ Compensation coverage in the insurance industry.
SLUH had previously hosted Manary, whose son Micah graduated in 2007, in February of 2005 when he gave presentations during activity period and to senior theology classes about Project Peanut Butter. SLUH held a peanut butter bake sale with goods made from peanut butter to raise money for Project Peanut Butter.
The SLUH community’s participation exceeded the expectations of the senior pastoral team and Community Service Project coordinator Simonie Anzalone, who coordinated the event together. The event raised $4,900, which will save the lives of 196 children in Africa who are suffering from malnutrition, according to Anzalone.
“We didn’t really have a specific goal but we were very happy with the results,” said Anzalone.
“I thought there would be a lot of people sitting outside doing their own thing but most people were inside and listening to Dr. Manary,” said English teacher David Callon. “I liked Dr. Manary’s message about not being an affluent Christian but being a heroic Christian who takes action. We can’t just let people like Dr. Manary do all the work, we have to help out. I was also lucky enough to get one of the golden tickets which made the experience even better.”
The golden ticket idea was introduced by CSP in an effort to increase participation in the event. Five golden tickets were placed in peanut butter sandwiches and were redeemable for a free lunch if signed by Manary.
One thing that really surprised Anzalone and the Pastoral team was that people who hadn’t bought sandwiches still donated money during lunch.
“People who donated money and didn’t buy sandwiches contributed a large amount of money— almost $1,800— which is awesome,” said senior pastoral member Aaron Buettner.
“I thought it was great because it was a simple idea with more options on how to donate, whether through buying sandwiches or just donating cash,” said junior Christian Siegfried.
The event was preceded by a lot of publicity including table tents on all the tables in the Commons, announcements throughout the week, and a phone blast Wednesday night before the event.
“I think the publicity helped gain awareness about it which helped increase the results,” said Buettner.
Because of such great results and the cause that it goes to, Anzalone and Buettner hope they will have the opportunity to do it again next year.
“I think it would be wonderful to do it again next year, but maybe we could do it during Lent when it isn’t such a busy time,” said Anzalone. “Lent would also be good because we could do it on a Friday where people already wouldn’t be eating meat.”
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