Students fundraise for trip

Courtesy photo Students at Big Bay de Noc School make pasties for their fundraising activities. The money will go toward the senior trip. Shown above, from left, are Stephanie Wyrembelski, senior trip advisor Lori Dalgord, Dalton Pilon, Pilon’s mother Becky Pilon, Zack Middaugh and Robbie Ray.

COOKS — Students in Big Bay de Noc School’s class of 2017 are looking forward to their trip to Orlando, Fla. The seniors have been busy planning and fundraising for the past couple months.

Diana Thill, the principal of Big Bay, said the senior trips were happening before her time working at the school; they began in the 1980’s. The planning and fundraising for the senior trips was managed by the school until it was switched to a private/volunteer function this year.

“There was simply too much stress being put on the school to organize the senior trips. The board was worried about liability matters and parents were not involved enough. We felt if the parents and seniors wanted a trip, they could arrange it on their own,” explains Thill.

Even though Orlando, Fla. has been a destination for many senior classes, Thill said other senior classes have gone to Daytona, Fla., Washington D.C and Chicago, Ill.

Big Bay may be a smaller school, but with that comes an advantage. According to Thill, senior trips vary with the size of the class. Because the class sizes are small at Big Bay, seniors are able to have trips.

“A lot of schools around the area do not provide senior trips because the classes are larger. Rapid River is one of the few schools besides us who have senior trips,” states Thill.

Lori Dalgord took on the role of being this year’s senior class trip adviser for Big Bay. Since Dalgord had an amazing experience being a chaperone for her daughter’s senior class trip at Big Bay several years ago, she felt other seniors needed to have the same opportunity.

“After hearing that the school had given up the trip after nearly 50 years of students getting this wonderful opportunity, I talked it over with my husband, and he said go for it. You’ll be great at it,” says Dalgord.

For fundraising activities, Dalgord had the students sell Sayklly’s chocolate for both Christmas and Easter, sell Christmas wreaths, do can drives, work at the American Legion’s breakfast, and make pasties. In five sales, 8,050 pasties were made by the class with help from Dalgord and parents.

The students will visit the Disney theme parks, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Disney water parks and Disney Springs on their trip.

The class will be staying at Disney All Star Movie Resort. For rooming arrangements, Dalgord said, “The students chose who they would like to stay with as all students are 18. Except for one.”

On June 6, the seniors will depart at 6:55 a.m. and return on June 10 at 11:45 a.m., according to Dalgord. They will enjoy five days in Orlando and four nights in their hotel.

Because the total amount for the trip is $23,520, a lot of fundraising was needed according to Dalgord.

“I like to do as much as possible for as little as possible. I checked with the tour company they (the school) have went in the past and also a local one. We decided to do the trip on our own this year due to cost. I started calling the resorts and theme parks for prices and this is how we decided to do it ourselves – to get the most out of our time for the money,” explained Dalgord.

Even though there was a lot of planning and fundraising going into this trip, when asked about struggles, Dalgord said, “Absolutely nothing. The students were amazing this year. Whatever minimums I would give them to sell, they would almost double it.”

However, Dalgord did confess the long days of pasty making and waiting for them to cook was a challenge.

Big Bay’s senior class motivates Dalgord to consider pursuing another year as a class trip adviser. “After having the class of 2017 and all of the great things they and their parents did, it would be hard to say no if another class was as awesome as they were,” notes Dalgord.

Big Bay senior Allison Roberts cannot wait for the hard work of planning and fundraising to pay off. Roberts admits, “Fundraising was difficult for me at times. Collecting people’s money, finding people to sell to, and spending all day making pasties was tough.”

Despite the obstacles, Roberts is most excited about the water park they will be going to. This is not Robert’s first time visiting Florida but going with her classmates will give her an experience she’s never had before.

Big Bay’s seniors not only look forward to graduation but also to their trip to Florida.