Jesuit High School's annual five-week Mission Drive culminated Friday (April 22) on Mission Drive Day, as the campus was filled with games, activities, food, competitions, and a music concert – all part of the school-wide, record-setting fundraising effort for the beneficiaries of Mission Drive 2016, the people of Matagalpa, Nicaragua.
For the past three years, a group of Jesuit students and chaperones has traveled to Nicaragua for a week to serve the destitute in the city of Matagalpa. They have provided assistance and support at the local hospital, prison, town dump, and youth center.
Mission Drive 2016, launched March 14 at Convocation by Michael Miller ’09, is dedicated to assisting Matagalpa. Miller, Jesuit’s Director of Community Service, set a goal of $12,000 raised. (Last year’s record total was $10,987, for The Lord’s Ranch in El Paso, Texas.)
After all the money had been counted, on April 27 following Mass, Miller announced $13,559.73 had been raised by Mission Drive 2016, exceeding the goal by more than $1,500 and shattering the previous drive record.
Those funds will go toward three things: a chapel for Matagalpa’s prison, operation of the local youth center (La Casita), and to send six Matagalpan youths to World Youth Day in Poland this summer to see Pope Francis. The funds will be disbursed via the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, who host Jesuit's annual mission trip to Matagalpa.
Mission Drive funds have been raised via a penny drive in the cafeteria; through classroom donations each Thursday; with $5 entries into an NCAA Tournament basketball pool; and via small fees associated with the events of Mission Drive Day.
The Mission Drive dates back to the 1930s at Jesuit. The theme for this year’s Mission Drive has been “Whatsoever you did to the least of my brethren, you did unto me,” from Matthew 25:40, which is written on one of the large banners inside St. Anthony’s Chapel. Students who have taken a mission trip to Nicaragua have been the leaders of the drive.
Mission Drive Day kicked off Friday morning with a sensational music concert led by Jesuit's music director, Nina Wegmann. View below a photo slideshow from Mission Drive Day; a photo slideshow from the music concert; a video of the scintillating electric violin performance of "Canon Rock" by Spencer Whipple '16; and the Jesuit choir singing the Gaelic classic, "Dulaman."
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