Torrington High School Raises $18,500 for Local Charities

On Friday, the students of Torrington told the community – “You Can Count on Us!” The school celebrated its bi-annual Raider Rally, a student-run charity drive aimed at making a difference in the ongoing issues of homelessness, domestic violence, and food insecurity. This year’s event raised a total of $18,500 in donations to benefit several Torrington non-profit organizations.

“Rally Day” is a community day for THS, a celebration of generosity and community service. Students began the day with a walk-a-thon supporting five local organizations: Susan B. Anthony Project, FISH, Friendly Hands Food Bank, The Gathering Place, and Community Kitchen of Torrington. Students spent the rest of the morning enjoying a field day of games and activities and then came together for an afternoon pep rally with awards and performances.

Lessons throughout the year have taught students about the organizations and their work. In addition, Dimon Jeudi from Community Kitchen and Kristina Carey from Susan B. Anthony led a town hall with student representatives about their jobs in the organizations and the people they serve. Junior Rosalia Castillo was surprised to learn about the collaboration happening amongst the non-profits. “I knew they all did important work in the community, but I didn’t know how much they worked together. It’s like how the students at the high school are working together now.”

Castillo is just one of the student leaders who helped to make this charity event a success. Seniors Ruby Leonard and Freyja Harrel were the organizing chairs, responsible for collecting and distributing the donations and planning the Rally Day activities. Students from all the classes assisted in various ways, such as maintaining the event website, tabulating donations, organizing materials for the event day, and making videos to promote the event.

The Raiders Rally program started in 2013, encourages all THS students to get involved in community service. Since the first event, this bi-annual program has raised over $90,000 for local charities. Science Teacher Maggie McGillicuddy remarked that the program “builds a culture of giving and altruism which shows students how to make a direct and meaningful impact on their community.” 

Kelsey Zary from Torrington’s Susan B. Anthony Project attended Friday’s event, where students celebrated with each other and members of the community. Obstacle courses, food trucks, local vendors, and tournaments – including badminton and trivia – contributed to a convivial atmosphere of community. Faculty advisor Erin Sullivan was pleased with the event and called it “the best one yet.”

“The rallies are such a beautiful tradition,” she commented. “The energy, enthusiasm, and gratitude the students show really highlight the amazing things that happen at THS.”

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