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Bloomfield Hills

Rice students replace raffle with Day of Service

November 7, 2012

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From left, Brother Rice freshman Chris Bala and sophomore Conor Quarton join Spanish teacher Carla Bartlett in tucking items away into a freshly cleaned storage space.

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — On Nov. 2, Brother Rice High School students dropped the uniforms and donned their work clothes for the first When the Saints Go Marching Out student fundraiser and all-day Day of Service.

School President John Birney said in an email that students, staff and parents were sent to 25 locations around the metro area to provide service to organizations such as Angels’ Place, Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan, Christ Child House, the Eight Mile Boulevard Association and several Catholic elementary schools.

“Brother Rice was established to serve the underprivileged, and this is a great way to bring that message back to our families today,” Birney said.

“We look forward to seeing our students interact with their peers in an educational opportunity that is so important to their character formation.”

In the past, Brother Rice students sold raffle tickets for the school’s annual fundraiser. This year, students were able to solicit sponsors for their service work. The goals of $250 per student and $150,000 school-wide are similar to past years, but the cost of the service event is much lower than the raffle. In addition to word of mouth, the school is using an online system to solicit sponsors, who can donate online, by cash or check.

Students were organized into “bands” made up of an equal number of students from each class, creating a sort of “vertical homeroom” to foster leadership and camaraderie school-wide. The band system was put into place at Brother Rice in 2007.

One band, led by advanced placement Spanish teacher Carla Bartlett, spent the day raking leaves and brush outside of Angels’ Place RC Mahon Home in Bloomfield Hills and helping staff organize the interior. By 9:30 a.m., the students had already generated 25 bags full of yard waste at the curbside.

“It’s a great way for us to help out the community,” said Bartlett.

Brother Rice senior Joseph Cueter said that although Rice students are also required to perform a certain number of hours of Christian service throughout the year, the Day of Service is something separate.

“It’s our way to give back, and we also got to ask around to get pledges, so people could donate a dollar amount for every hour that we work,” he said.

“Being out here isn’t bad at all. I’m happy to do it.”

Sophomore Ryan Posh said the Day of Service was a good experience for him.

“We’ve never done anything like this before, so it’s nice to get everyone together and get some work done,” he said.

For more information on the Day of Service or sponsorship, visit

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