A group of high school students have spent months planning a fundraiser for their community – but not for the typical reasons. Instead of raising money for t-shirts or a trip, they’re raising money to donate to charity.
Sachse High School’s Comic Book Club is hosting its first-ever charity event from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14. Tickets are free but the club requests a $5 donation, and all proceeds will go to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, which focuses on finding treatments for paralysis.
“The only way it benefits us is that it gets our name out there,” said Andrew Bonatti, a senior who serves as the club’s president. “The biggest thing is to donate. You can also make a direct donation, and there are tax-deductible donation booths. Our goal is to raise $2,000.”
The event will feature carnival games, food, a cosplay fashion show and the screening of a superhero movie in the SHS auditorium.
Comic Book Club has close to 40 members, and all of them are involved in producing the event. Most will serve as ushers, while others will stay behind the scenes to help everything run smoothly.
According to sponsor Erin Hobbs, the students have planned the event entirely themselves.
“This is not teacher-led,” she said. “I can’t say that anything else has been so student-centered.”
“I’m so proud that we’re high schoolers putting together a charity event,” added Jack White, the club’s vice president. “Everyone works so hard. It’s such a good community to be a part of. It’s a fantastic thing to see kids from all walks of life coming together.”
Andrew has been hoping to host a charity event since he founded the club his freshman year, and the underclassmen intend to make it an annual occasion.
They chose the Reeve Foundation because of how many people the organization helps, and its association with the Superman character. Christopher Reeve, star of the 1978 film “Superman,” was paralyzed in 1995 and helped fund the research center, the foundation’s website stated.
“Paralysis can happen to anyone – it happened to Superman,” Andrew said. “People who come out for the carnival games or to watch the movie might feel nostalgic about Christopher Reeve’s contribution not only to the comic book community, but to the paralysis community. This event is a really good way to highlight his contribution.”
The club meets once a week – sometimes twice, in order to take care of all the planning. Due to all the time spent together, the members have grown close.
“I want people to come and see all the great things the kids do,” said co-sponsor Cynthia Stevens. “This event isn’t just going to show that they have big hearts, but will also show things that they love. They make teaching fun. Comic Book Club attracts kids that wouldn’t normally be in sports or extracurriculars. We get a lot of fringe kids. It’s a positive thing. It helps them meet new friends.”
When they aren’t focusing on raising money, the students discuss the world of comics, watch movies, attend Comic-Cons and play games. At the end of the year they put together a banquet, and will bury a time capsule in the spring.
Anyone may join at any time – all that’s required is signing a membership card.
The club is on Instagram as SHS_ComicBookClub, where they post photos of meetings as well as information about events.
“This event embodies the Comic Book Club as a whole,” Jack said. “It’s something bigger than yourself, and we’re trying to raise awareness in the community.”
By Morgan Howard • [email protected]