Partnership in Patriotism
World War II Memorial Society Newsletter - Winter 1999 Issue
This article was taken from the World War II Memorial Society newsletter (winter issue of 1999).
Students, vets join to support memorial campaign
Anyone who has ever been to a high school football game has heard the cheer, “We’ve got spirit, yes we do, we’ve got spirit, how about you?” Truer words have never been
spoken when referring to North Park Middle School in Lockport, N.Y.
Many say today’s youth don’t appreciate the sacrifices their elders have made for them. This is not the case for
170 students and one very motivated English teacher in Lockport.
Renee Knight and her husband are charter members of the World War II Memorial Society. Last August at their breakfast table, Knight handed his wife a thank you note he had received from the memorial campaign and jokingly stated, “Here’s a little project for your kids....” The
seed was planted. What could a group of
eighth grade students do to raise money for
such a worthy cause? Why not a benefit concert in their
“I turned to some wonderful people with whom I had worked on previous adventures,” Renee said. “My colleagues, our Parent Liaison Committee, and some of my professional buddies within the school system — all willingly jumped into the fray. At Lockport High School, former colleagues and old friends graciously offered their time, talents,
performers and stage crews.
“Our dream had the potential for turning into a nightmare, though,” Renee said. “When I first approached my darling students, they rolled their eyes and wondered what I had gotten them into! I explained the project and stressed
that it would mean a great deal of work. But when I asked who wanted to be involved, every hand in the room went up!
“I sought publicity advice from a friend and the idea of a joint venture with local veterans organizations was
discussed. Why not make it an intergenerational community project?”
The local American Legion was contacted and enthusiastically supported the venture. Mrs. Knight then called the Customer Service number for the memorial campaign and was supplied with posters, donation and registry forms, and continuous calls and e-mails
of encouragement and support.
On Saturday, Nov. 7, 1998, the students escorted veterans to the front row of the auditorium, the lights were dimmed and the concert began. The evening was filled with song, dance and verse, and closed with a silent tribute to those who served.
Once all of the raffle gifts had been awarded, the ticket
monies collected, and donations counted,
this breakfast conversation had turned into a donation to the World War II Memorial of over $3,700. So, as an English teacher would say, the gauntlet has been thrown, the challenge made: We’ve got spirit! How about you?
Renee Knight has prepared a lesson plan for anyone interested in developing a fund raiser in their school.
For more information contact the Director of Education at the World War II Memorial Campaign at 800-639-4WW2 or write to:
Director of Education
National World War II Memorial
2300 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 501
Arlington, Va. 22201
Visit the National WWII Memorial Website at: WWIIMemorial.com