Story by Lexy Wiles SHS Senior Class of 2016, photos provided by SMAC
Not many students can compare walking into school on a Monday morning to entering the gates of Disneyland. Stillwater high schoolers can; few things compare to the first day of SMAC (Stillwater Makes a Change) Week, where students are cheering at the doors to get everyone excited for the annual week-long charity event.
I had the privilege to help with SMAC Week during all three of my years at Stillwater High School, and without it, I would not be who I am today. SMAC has granted me amazing opportunities and has shown me that nothing is better than leading others to help the community. The week started off with the Mangeant, a comedic “pageant” featuring the talents of high school boys. Other fun activities included a carnival, a block party featuring live music from high school students, and a talent show.
The week ended with the SMAC Dance-A-Thon (SMAC DAT) where we revealed we raised $101,091.20 for the Saville Center, a child advocacy program for children who have been abused. The money will go to fund a therapy dog program to help children cope with the pain of interviews and the court process, a new private drive, other updates to the facility to improve client anonymity, and a few other projects.
SMAC is much more than a high school event. It is a student-led opportunity for the community to come together with a greater goal in mind. Jennifer Lauvetz-Enmeier DDS, Tricia Carpenter Insurance Agency, B&L Heating and Air, Denis the Jeweler, and Stillwater Family Care, Stillwater Medical Center, Arvest Bank, and the TSET Healthy Living Program all gave monetary donations; furthermore, we received many contributions other than financial help. Interworks sponsored the SMAC YOU WITH COLOR 5K and donated all of the shirts for the race! Stillwater Medical Center donated water, and more than 30 restaurants donated their food for Snack with SMAC, an event similar to Taste of Stillwater, held before the Mangeant on Monday night.
SMAC has grown so much in its seven short years. In 2010, we raised $5,000, but the past two years we raised over $100,000 each year! With the expansion of our organization, we have also been able to create a better website that accepts online donations, thanks to JUVO Web Design. You can donate any time at stillwatermakesachange.com.
Next year, our beneficiary will be MPower, a non-profit organization that helps provide jobs and support to disabled adults. The charity plans to use the money for several projects to update their facility including a paved parking lot, as the gravel lot they have now poses many issues with their clients.
On behalf of all of the SMAC Week Steering members, I would like to thank the community for their support of what started seven years ago as a small charity event. Without the help of local businesses and families, we would not be able to raise more than $100,000 for local organizations that do such amazing work! SMAC Week has provided students with a way to help the community and have fun while doing so, and I can’t think of a better way to spend my high school career.