DECA students kick off fundraising campaign

In honor of Braden Markus (2006-2021), a fundraiser was held for the first home football game of the season.

The fundraiser’s goal was $2,200 because Markus’s jersey number was 22. Students and staff, between the shirt sales and the money collected for the Braden Markus Memorial Scholarship Fund, raised $7,484.

“The money will all go into the Fund. The scholarship  assists high school seniors who will be participating in an extracurricular activity in college like band or a sport,” DECA adviser Eric Wells said.

Seniors Anushka Maharana, Emma Lear and Lauren Hoffman organized the campaign as a part of their “community giving project” for DECA. They named this first fundraiser The Week of 22. Their project will span the whole 2022-2023 school year and focuses on raising money for the Scholarship Fund.

Maharana, Lear and Hoffman decided to take advantage of the excitement surrounding the first “completely normal” football game since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

“This drove our decision to make game day shirts with Braden’s number on it,” Maharana said.

They also hosted a 22-hour period of collecting money which was donated directly to the Scholarship Fund. To tie back to the theme of the first football game, this fundraiser ended at 7:00 p.m., the time of the kickoff. Students could donate during their lunch periods or through Venmo.

Before they finalized their idea, Maharana, Lear and Hoffman met with the Markus family to get their permission to host the campaign. Next, Hoffman created different t-shirt designs. Braden’s sister, Ella Markus, chose the final design, a blue shirt with the likeness of Braden on the back.

“The design is a good tribute to him and not very overwhelming,” freshman Ellie Sujaritchan said. 

She bought a shirt at the Wigwam because she wanted to support the Scholarship Fund.

Student section leaders coordinated with the fundraiser. They chose “Blue Out” as the theme for the game against Notre Dame Cathedral Latin High School on Aug. 26. Ella Markus announced the total amount of money raised during the game.

“The fundraiser for the scholarship is a fantastic idea and much needed to keep the spirit of Braden’s love of sports growing in those who want to further their education with athletics,” chemistry teacher Jane Norris said.