Winter Dance date moved again, several annual fundraisers canceled

Musical, dance swap dates to allow cast more time to prepare for show


Kaylee O'Dell

SpongeBob The Musical’s Stage Manager sophomore Sam Haney reads the lines of cast members who were absent at a recent after school practice. The musical was planned for the week of Feb. 12, but is now taking place Feb. 24-26 due to numerous cast and crew members being out sick.

Juli Mejia, Hannah Fitts, Samantha Haney, and

One thing is certain–things have been uncertain over the past few years. With that in mind, the calendar has been changed again to work through the impact of rising COVID-19 cases in January.

Student Council’s Winter Dance, originally re-scheduled for Feb. 26, will now take place on Feb. 12 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. and Lafayette Theater Company’s performance of SpongeBob The Musical will now be Feb. 24-26. There will not be a Winter Pep Assembly this year.

“We thought it would be best for our kids to have that extra time to practice since there has been so many students out and coming back,” SpongeBob director Natasha Fischer said. “I don’t want any of my students to feel lost or not comfortable going on stage so that extra time gives that buffer so they can feel better about getting on stage.”

Of course, Principal Karen Calcaterra said administrators will continue to monitor the situation with the health and safety of the students in mind. 

Though fundraisers are often a large part of the Lafayette community, many annual events have been canceled for the 2021-2022 school year. 

While there are many fundraiser events held throughout the school year, each grade has an event that occurs for that class to help raise money for those students. This year, however, the only current fundraiser planned by the Lancer Parent Organization (LPO) is the Trivia Night. 

“It used to be the Sophomore Class fundraiser, but this year we are just doing it all-school because we are trying to get whoever from whatever class to help and we are splitting the proceeds between the three classes,” LPO Treasurer Carren Rogan said. 

Scheduled for March 5, Trivia Night proceeds will be split between Classes of 2025, 2024 and 2023. LPO President Karri Johns said the LPO is focusing on making sure Trivia Night will help unify the community. 

“We kept hearing from the teachers in particular how much they missed Trivia Night, so then we decided to kind of move it back. If people enjoy Trivia Night, and we have had such a problem getting the Lafayette community together as one over the last couple of years, why not do it as an all-school fundraiser instead,” Johns said. 

The event may also cater to students who would prefer to take part online.

“We had always planned on having a virtual component. If there are people that want to participate and not be with us in the school environment, that’s okay too. We understand that that fear is still out there,” Johns said.

Besides Trivia Night, other typical fundraising events like Winter Carnival and Taste of West County have not been planned for the remainder of the school year. 

“There’s a few people concerned about Taste of West County because we ask so much of the restaurants and they feel like the restaurants have been hit so hard with COVID, that we really shouldn’t ask,” Rogan said.

In addition to the effects of COVID on the community, fundraisers have also been impacted by the lack of volunteers.

“We have very little support from parents. I don’t know if it’s COVID, I don’t know if it’s time. A lot of people feel like, ‘well I gave $20 so that’s all they need, they really only need money anyways,’ and it’s not just money,” Rogan said. “You get a lot more out of volunteering than you actually put in, but until you do it and you’re involved, you don’t think of it that way.” 

Still, the decision to cancel some fundraisers early in the school year is largely from the uncertainty caused by COVID. 

“The decision was made because COVID has been so unpredictable,” Johns said. 

Though the Class of 2022 does not have much time left to gain funds, Johns is worried about the Class of 2023 and how the current juniors will save funds for future events.

“The Class of 2022 has 63% more than the Class of 2023, equating to nearly $25,000, for their Celebration and the Class of 2023 only has one to two semesters left to raise the funds for their senior class events.  You can imagine that the senior events for the Class of 2023 will look far different than those of other classes,” Johns said.

With the lack of funding from a closed Lancers Landing and from canceled fundraisers in the 2020-2021 school year, all classes have been negatively impacted. Some students believe that they have even been affected through the memories the events are supposed to provide.

These grade-level fundraisers are important because they’ll contribute towards really special memories after graduation,” junior Bhushan Sreekrishnavilas said.

Mostly, though, the loss in funding has led to a loss of a teacher grant, which gives $18,000 a year to teachers who want to improve their classrooms with educational resources. Instead of using the Lancers Landing proceeds for teacher grants, this year the money will be donated to each grade’s class funds.

“This place is important to me on so many levels but it’s also important for us to be student-focused first, that’s the whole reason for the parent organization. We want students to have that safe place after graduation, so we don’t want that to go away,” Johns said. 

While it is likely the grade-level fundraisers may come back, Johns expects future fundraisers to also involve funding for all classes.

“I think everything is on the table, however, I think what the leadership group that is in place now would like to see the community idea be successful,” she said. “There’s no reason we should segregate it and make each class responsible for their own fundraising.