Skip to content

Sundre High School students roll up their sleeves to raise funds

Annual Sundre May Queen program intended to instill not only community spirit and work ethic but also a sense a responsibility

SUNDRE – Local high school students recently rolled up their sleeves and used some good old-fashioned elbow grease to tackle odd jobs around the community for the annual May Queen program.

The 2024 edition of the initiative that was first introduced in 1969 wrapped up earlier this month after Sundre High School students completed hundreds of hours of work in the community between May 8 - 11.

The program is intended not only as a fundraiser to support student activities including grad, but also to instil a sense of work ethic and responsibility alongside community connection.

“This event has a way of connecting us and creating a positive energy that spreads throughout our school and into our community, and back to us again,” principal Scott Saunders was quoted as a saying in a Chinook’s Edge School Division statement.

The initiative started out as a means to raise funds for prom and grad celebrations, and involves students approaching businesses and residents with an offer to help tackle odds jobs in exchange for support for the program, which has since launching expanded to include raising funds for field trips and extra curricular activities as well as scholarships. Last year, students who participated reportedly raised about $29,000.

The program also involves a competitive element with each grade endeavouring to raise more than the others.  

Historically, a queen and a king were named for each grade, hence the program’s name. These days, there are two student leaders for each grade.

Sundre resident Leigh Smithson is among those who without hesitation enthusiastically supports the program. This year marked the second time he hired some students to help tackle some landscaping work in his backyard by trimming out some lawn along the fence to lay the footprint for a raised planter.

Grade 11 student Ryder Dach worked a four-hour shift for Smithson alongside Avery McMullen and Anna Steiner.

“I think it’s good for the community and good for students. It creates a better community. I like that May Queen brings groups of kids together with the community to support the school,” said Dach.

Educational assistant Tracy Pedersen, who is also a parent and former program participant, feels May Queen embodies plenty of valuable aspects.

“I love the energy of the students and staff, and the community and parents. This definitely affects school spirit. I love to see the students challenging themselves to meet their own goals. It’s also great that our teens are seen in a positive light by the community,” said Pedersen.

And while students sometimes work on projects with their friends, there are also instances when they team up with classmates they’re not as familiar with, along the way paving the path to the possibility of forging new connections.

“It helps them develop relationships they might not otherwise have in school,” said Pedersen.

She also noted how the initiative provides an opportunity to shine for students who might not be among the top academically or athletically speaking but nevertheless still have strong interpersonal skills.

“I have been very impressed with the students and their ability to cold call businesses and knock on doors with confidence,” she said.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks