Grandville — Move into the high school for a week? It’s all for a good cause.
The students of Grandville High School, with support from the greater community, raised $47,094 for the GHS Student Assistance Fund during its recent Senior Survivor competition.
Senior Survivor is a week-long competition during which 16 12th-graders give up their phones and keys and take up residence in the high school, sleeping in the project rooms overnight. (In fact, they’re not even allowed to leave campus.) Throughout the week, they find creative ways to raise money and compete in challenges to avoid being eliminated.
Watch the 2023 Senior Survivors compete in this year’s challenges and learn more about the competition.
“It’s for those kids who don’t have (resources like) lunches or school supplies … all the money goes into this big fund that supports kids throughout the Grandville district,” said competitor Emma Jaworowicz in an interview with GHS A/V students before competition began.
“I wanted to do Senior Survivor because I thought it would be a really cool opportunity and it goes toward a good cause,” she said. “I thought it would be cool to make some more friends and hang out with my friends who are (competing) as well.”
Each competitor set up a GoFundMe account and found ways to raise money during the day, including selling snacks, asking students to donate toward a hat day, appeals on social media and even offering up an opportunity to throw a pie in middle school Principal Ken See’s face. Students also partnered with the central office, middle school and most of the elementary schools, who all helped their designated competitor(s) with fundraising.
At night, after classes ended and most students had gone home for the day, the Senior Survivors competed in challenges ranging from trivia questions to obstacle courses through vacant corridors of the high school. One challenge saw the students diving into the pool to find puzzle pieces and be the first to put a puzzle together; another asked them to find gummy bears hidden in whipped cream using only their mouths.
At the end of each day, the three lowest fundraisers were eliminated and sent back home — unless, of course, they won immunity in a challenge.
After a snow-day delay and a final challenge featuring the top four finalists, senior and Student Council Vice President Aiden Martin emerged victorious, raising more than $8,000 to earn the title of top Senior Survivor.
“It’s a really fun way to give back to the community,” competitor Arthur Gardine said in his A/V interview. “I mean, I’ve been here since fourth grade. I really think I am where I am today because of Grandville.”