Hayes High School Student Council members gathered more than 50 toys for charity Saturday during the inaugural Holidays at Hayes event.
The event was held in the auditorium and cafeteria at the high school, and it featured screenings of classic holiday films, a performance by Hayes Singers, crafts, food and games.
The price of admission was a new toy that will be donated to People In Need, Inc. of Delaware County for its annual food and toy drive, the Holiday Clearing House.
The event was orchestrated and lead by student council members and math teacher Jake Shafer, who reported that more than 50 people from the community attended the event and donated 58 toys.
Student council member Maddy Decker, a junior, said part of the event was inspired by a tradition at her old school district in which there were regular movie nights at the school to give students a chance to socialize outside of class.
“It brought people together,” she said. “That was the inspiration. I always remember being happy and having so much fun.”
Decker said she was one of the students who proposed that a movie screening be part of the event when student council decided to have a charity event.
Decker added she was pleased with the turnout at the inaugural event and has high hopes for next year.
“It went pretty good for the first time,” she said. “My favorite part was putting it all together and decorating. We obviously want to get it more out there next time. Maybe have more crafts and more games so more people will be interested and get it out there more.”
Fellow student council member Molly Wells, a freshman, agreed. She said it was a good turnout for the first event.
“I feel like it went pretty well, because we had a bunch of toys, that was our main focus,” Wells said. “We had a lot of good people come and a lot of kids. Being the first year, we weren’t going to get overwhelmed with people, but it’s nice to see people who came. They’ll tell their friends about it. People seem to be enjoying it.”
Wells said she was glad they put on the event, because it’s another chance to show off what happens at Hayes to the community, especially around the holidays.
“I just love Christmas a lot,” she said. “I thought it was a great opportunity to show the community what we’re doing at school as a student council. I just thought since all the Secret Santas (at the elementary schools in the district) were so successful, Hayes needed something Christmas-y.”
Erin Margraf, a math intervention teacher at Hayes, brought her family to the event and said she enjoyed it.
“We’ve had a great time,” Margraf said. “It’s perfect. You can go watch a movie then do arts and crafts. It’s entertaining, and there’s not a lot of down time. It’s wonderful to be able to bring my family and show them some students I know.”
After the event, Shafer said he was proud of the student’s work.
“It went great,” he said. “We knew to manage expectations, but we have a table full of toys that wouldn’t be there without (Hayes students). It’s a great success, and hopefully, we can turn this into a tradition.”
Student Board of Education member Mary Grace Duffy said she also hopes the event grows to become a tradition.
“It went well for the first time,” she said. “We had a good amount of people who were very social, friendly and excited. I’d love to see more people next year … and face painting. It’s a great way to bring out families in Delaware together to celebrate and begin their holiday season here at Hayes.”
The items were donated to People in Need, which distributed them to families Sunday.