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SkillsUSA Student Officers Raise Money to Donate Stuffed Animals to Caitlin’s Smiles

On March 3, SkillsUSA student officers from Technical College High School (TCHS) Pennock’s Bridge hosted a fundraiser at their school pep rally. In an effort to raise money for Caitlin’s Smiles, a non-profit organization that delivers arts and craft supplies to children in medical facilities, the SkillsUSA student officers organized a pie-throwing contest, where TCHS Pennock’s Bridge students had the opportunity to throw pies at their instructors and administrators.  

The fundraiser will be submitted as part of the community service competition at the SkillsUSA Pennsylvania State Conference in Hershey, PA on April 12. The community service competition emphasizes activities that benefit the community and recognizes excellence and professionalism in community service. As part of the competition, SkillsUSA students must raise money and/or collect items to donate to a non-profit organization of their choice. 

“We decided to donate to Caitlin’s Smiles as part of the community service competition because SkillsUSA is sponsoring them this year. I thought it would be a great idea to provide stuffed animal donations to Caitlin’s Smiles because stuffed animals were listed on their website as one of the items they needed the most,” said Sydney Troutman, Culinary Arts student and SkillsUSA officer.  

Throughout the month of February, SkillsUSA officers collected stuffed animals from TCHS Pennock’s Bridge staff and students and sold tickets for the pie-throwing contest. In total, they collected 88 stuffed animals and raised $200 from the fundraiser, which will all be donated to Caitlin’s Smiles.  

“Today was all about making this day fun for students. We can collect even more stuffed animals and give them to kids who need them with the money we raised from the pie-throwing contest,” said Emily Zimny, Health Career Pathways student and SkillsUSA officer. “We chose a pie-throwing contest because we thought it was a fun way to engage everyone and raise more donations. Overall, it was a really fun experience,” Zimny added. 

Mackenzie Keenan, Culinary Arts student and SkillsUSA officer, shared how the fundraiser and upcoming competition has impacted her. “I love helping people and I try to go out of my way to help others. Seeing sick children makes me really sad, so experiencing how Caitlin’s Smiles brings smiles to the kids is amazing!”