12/02/10 — Students raise funds for injured classmate

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Students raise funds for injured classmate

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 2, 2010 1:46 PM

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From left, Hailey Chase, Jade Woodard and Jordyn Howell staff the donation table for their DECA service project at the Family YMCA on Wednesday afternoon.

Classmates of a Charles B. Aycock High School student paralyzed in an accident last spring just weeks before his graduation decided to make him the focus of their community service project.

Jordyn Howell, Jade Woodard and Hailey Chase, all juniors at the school, were at the Young Life event in May where their friend, David Burke, tumbled the wrong way on a slip 'n slide and wound up in the hospital.

He is currently receiving rehabilitation services at Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

"David was one of those people who never gave up. He's a fighter," Jordyn said. "He was at the Y almost every day working out."

So when it came time for the DECA club to determine its target project for the year, the students chose to create a fundraiser for their friend.

Burke was also a member of DECA, a marketing and business-oriented organization.

"Do Work for Burke" was held Wednesday evening at the YMCA, eliciting donations to help the Burke family with expenses, with a portion given to the Shepherd Center.

Members and non-members of the Y were encouraged to contribute to the cause -- $12 would buy them a T-shirt designed by club members, while a $20 donation entitled them to work out in any area at the Y.

Before the concept was even introduced, though, Jordyn said the students ran the idea by the benefactor.

"When David was home, we okayed the idea with him beforehand," she said. "He was happy that we wanted to do a fundraiser in his name and for him, and to do something that he himself enjoyed doing."

To promote the effort, students spread the word on Facebook, Jordyn said.

"We had nearly 200 respond online," she said. About 100 turned out to participate.

The event raised $1,174, said Tammy Vail, adviser for the club.

"For a Wednesday night, we thought it was really good," she said this morning.

There were also a number of corporate sponsors who helped make the effort a success, added Judy Howell, Jordyn's mother.

"The marketing class teaches them how to market and program," she said. "Hopefully it teaches them what's involved in a project."

There were a number of elements involved, she explained, beyond setting up a table and a collection jar.

Students also created wristbands and posters to draw attention to their table at the Y's entrance.

Next up is working on their presentation before a judge at the state DECA conference, which will be held in February in Greensboro.

"We'll write a 30-page paper telling about the event and what our community service project is," Jordyn said. "We'll present it as a business plan almost."