This Friday, January 20th, UNICEF club will be hosting a “Sticking Up For UNICEF” event, during which students can purchase pieces of duct tape to suspend Principal Conrad, Ms. Reidy, and AHS Person Of The Year David Lee above ground on the wall by the staircase between the foyer and the fieldhouse, adjacent to the Dunn Gym. All proceeds will go towards UNICEF’s efforts to help refugee children in Aleppo, Syria.

One yard of tape can be purchased for a dollar, and students may stick this tape to any of the three participants, or they may ask a member of UNICEF to do this for them. Even students who don’t plan on purchasing tape are encouraged to come watch the event and learn about UNICEF and its other projects.

Although this is the first year that UNICEF will be raising funds and awareness through a duct-taping event, the idea has been occasionally suggested during club meetings for several years. According to UNICEF leader and senior, Anna Yeo, “Every single year that I’ve been in UNICEF, someone’s brought up the idea of duct taping someone to a wall… Every year we just kind of laughed it off, but then this year we were like, why not?”

This new venture is also unique to UNICEF in regards to the time of year. Kaamil Lokhandwala, club leader and junior, shared that, “We wanted to do something different because January has always been a really calm time for UNICEF.” This previous lack of active fundraising during this time largely results from the student body participating in a huge amount of fundraising efforts throughout the holidays. Despite this, UNICEF hopes that the unique nature of this event will draw in a large student audience.

The combination of the aforementioned unusuality of the event, as well as advertising via posters throughout the school and daily announcements, has allowed UNICEF to predict a large amount of students in attendance. This will result in two significant benefits for UNICEF: funds for Aleppo, Syria, and increased awareness of the club’s purpose. This aspect of raising awareness is especially crucial, as Mr. Hall, the club’s faculty advisor, has emphasized. “The one thing I would like to see them do a little bit more is raise a little bit more awareness about what the club really is about as opposed to just assuming that people know what UNICEF actually means,” said Hall, “so that when kid buy a rose at Valentine’s Day they actually know where that money is going.”

With three infamous members of our AHS community, Conrad, Reidy, and Lee, UNICEF truly has an opportunity to establish a platform for their message of providing aid for children globally. All three participants were approached by UNICEF and agreed to be taped as a means of contributing to the overarching cause. Conrad was UNICEF’s primary interest for the event, and the individual that caused the idea to begin to shift towards reality in its early stages. According to Yeo, “finally having someone as cool as Mr. Conrad to help us out,” was crucial to the advent of the “Sticking Up For UNICEF” event.

Reidy, the other faculty participant, was not initially as eager to be suspended off the ground. Fortunately, with the encouragement of both UNICEF club and the Robotics Team, of which she is the faculty advisor, she was convinced and now proceeds with humor and a positive expectations. “I’m really hoping that I can help UNICEF and that we do raise some funds,” said Reidy. “I also expect to be laughing a lot. And hoping there is enough tape to hold me up.”

By Laura O’Brien