LAKE GEORGE - For the past four years, students of Lake George High School have been conducting a food drive to stock the Sacred Heart Food Pantry of Lake George.
The drive has been headed up by the students involved in the school's Future Business Leaders of America club.
This year's food drive exceeded all expectations, junior Melissa Page said. The goal for this year was to collect 2,000 food items, but after only two weeks, the students collected more than 6,294 food items.
Lake George High has 79 "guide rooms," or small homerooms hosting seven or eight students.
In the food drive, guide rooms competed against the others not only for prizes and bragging rights, but with an ultimate goal of helping those less fortunate, Page said.
The guide rooms of faculty members Michelle Bromley and Deborah Beck were first place winners and will receive breakfast from Panera Bread restaurant. The overall top guide room was Bromley's and she will receive the parking spot of principal Francis Cocozza for one week.
Also, Cocozza will teach one of Bromley's classes. In addition to this, the winning guide room will get a "Greatest Giving" trophy.
The second place winner was the guide rooms of Brenda Hoffman and the third was the jointly led room of Christina Howe and Christopher Collins. They will each receive rewards.
The top individual student who was the most giving and brought in the most food items was 9th grader Cody McCann. He will receive a $20 gift certificate.
In past years, the school has collected between 2,000 and 2,500 food items per year for the Sacred Heart Food Pantry, which provides needed non-perishables to about 70 local families each month.
The extent of the spirit of the competition - and generosity of the students - took everyone by surprise, Page said this week.
"This food collection is all for a good cause," she said. "The food drive occurs after the holidays to help replenish the pantry after the holiday season."
According to a spokesperson at Sacred Heart Food Pantry, the shelves are nearly bare and this donation of over 6,294 food items will be very beneficial.
The business club students utilized a school bus to deliver all the food Jan. 23 to the pantry.
While the purpose of the Future Business Leaders of America is chiefly to equip and prepare students to be effective, responsible business leaders by honing communication and leadership skills, the local chapter engages in a variety of charitable activities through the year.
The Lake George chapter of the club currently has 36 members, and participates in fundraising and community service events throughout the school year.