Phoenix Country Day School donates record amount to St. Mary’s Food Bank

(Submitted Photo)

Phoenix Country Day School, 3901 E. Stanford Drive in Paradise Valley, donated a record amount of turkeys to St. Mary’s Food Bank this year.

The middle school students at Phoenix Country Day School, who are actively engaged in philanthropy Valley-wide, demonstrated that during the annual turkey drive benefiting the food bank, according to a press release. Held every year on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, St. Mary’s Food Bank was 500 turkeys short of its holiday goal that morning.

However, Phoenix Country Day School put the organization over the mark just as in recent years that the event’s success led to the school being the single-largest provider of turkey donations to the food bank, the release noted.

At the drop-off before school began, families from all three divisions of Phoenix Country Day School carried turkeys to donation bins. While some students and families gave one turkey, others brought as many at 18 turkeys to the donation bins.

There was even a friendly student competition among the middle school students in the drive with the grade-level advisory that donated the most turkeys having classes suspended for an afternoon dodge-ball tournament with their faculty.

Middle School Head Ben Sullivan also offered an additional incentive to the kids: Break last year’s record of 626 total turkeys donated by the PCDS Middle School and he would cancel classes for the entire division for a fun afternoon of dodge-ball and games.

The kids came through as the middle school donated 631 total turkeys to St. Mary’s Food Bank — a staggering number considering the entire PCDS Middle School has only 270 students, grades 5-8, and Phoenix Country Day School as a whole has 750 students, grades Pre-K through high school, the release said.

“This is a rallying point for the community,” said Mr. Sullivan in a prepared statement. “St. Mary’s Food Bank has appealed to our students at our morning meeting, and we’ve taken this challenge to heart. These donations, coupled by our students’ efforts volunteering at the food bank during important events throughout the school year make this more than just a one-off. It’s really powerful for our kids.”

Phoenix Country Day School will send its entire seventh grade to St. Mary’s Food Bank to volunteer in December before they break for winter holidays and do additional volunteer events with St. Mary’s in the spring, the release added.

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