Brookwood surpasses $1 million
SNELLVILLE, Ga. ─ Some pictures are worth a thousand words, but this one is worth a million.
Since Fall 2014, Brookwood High School has been keeping close track of its overall charitable fundraising with an eye toward raising $1 million by May 2025. Brookwood’s previous principal, William Bo Ford Jr, launched the March to One Million (M1M) campaign in September 2014 along with the school’s student government association (SGA), and for six consecutive years, the school cleared $100,000. Despite the yearlong interruption from the pandemic, Brookwood has met its $1 million goal within eight and a half years’ time. Current principal Brett Savage, who took the helm in August 2022, has already initiated the school’s second M1M campaign to carry the school through the 2020s.
Brookwood’s most notable fundraisers have been for the Amanda Riley Foundation, American Cancer Society's Relay For Life, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Brookwood's Helping Hands and Hearts (HHH), Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), The Exceptional Foundation, United Way, and local food cooperatives. Community attendance at annual events has been key, especially for the SGA’s Halloween Haunted F-Hall, Miracle Marathon, spring carnival, and movie nights, all of which also required strong student participation. The art department’s Empty Bowls soup dinner for the hungry has brought together visual arts and orchestra students, school cafeteria workers, and local vendors. Brookwood’s HHH Week, which has been in existence for well over 20 years, has seen success partly because of the school’s competitive nature. Teachers have encouraged their students to donate, bid, and buy food and fun privileges all in the name of charity and to win the honor of raising the most money in the school. With the money, HHH identifies Brookwood students and families in need and helps them during extenuating circumstances, holidays, and everyday life. Since 2014, HHH has given students and families more than $100,000 in assistance.
All faculty and staff have contributed through silent auctions, special Jeans Day passes, and personal donations directly from their paychecks. A silent auction and chili cookoff held this winter raised more than $4,200 for CHOA, part of the more than $100,000 total that the school has donated to the hospital over the past four years.
“Without involvement and a concerted effort at every level, reaching a million by this time wouldn’t have been possible,” said AP Biology teacher and SGA co-sponsor John Chvatal. “Everybody and everything contributed—from students to faculty, and from canned food drives to blockbuster events.” Coach Chvatal has spearheaded the M1M campaign from the beginning. To commemorate the milestone, he and fellow SGA teacher sponsors, Danielle Kaiser and Emily Humphrey, and the school’s five SGA student executive officers hung oversized balloons on the trophy case in the center of the school, spelling $1,000,000 for all to see.