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                                                                        From: James A. Black
            Dryden High School
            79 Casimir Avenue
            Dryden, Ontario
P8N 2H4 May 2, 2006

To: United Way of America
       P.O. Box 630568
       Baltimore, MD UNITED STATES
       212163 - 0568

Re: JAZZ Project, Katrina United Way Hurricane Response and Recovery, Cheque $2,834.47

      It has always been easy for people to say and express concern for other people when a tragedy strikes, it is much harder to stand up and do something. Each year, I try to encourage a fund raising activity that is important to my students. Many times I have discovered while organizing the series of fund raising events that some one in my classes has a personal contact with the tragedy. In September 2002 I was touched by a young man who thanked me for organizing the fund rising Apple Project that sent funds to the September 11th Fund United Way in New York. The student’s uncle died while visiting the Twin Towers on September 2001. The September 11th Fund United Way honored one of our students, Kathy, who was featured on a CNBC public services announcement thanking the world for their support. As part of a series of school wide fund raiser, Kathy had shaved her head bald as a fund raiser and she showed her hair cut pictured before and after on National American Television. Other times, we have collected over a thousand books for our Northern Native Communities, room full boxes of clothing for Bosnia, support for the Winnipeg Flood Victims, funds for the starving in Africa and pennies for clean water in Iraq and so on…

      This year much like our Apple Project, the law classes completed a program of activities we called the Jazz Project. The purpose of JAZZ Project was to fund raise for the victims of Katrina. The music classes had a battle of the bands rising over $700.00 while other students volunteered selling hall way JAZZ passes. We even had a JAZZ stop at the front of the school where students had to show their JAZZ pass, or donate for a pass to get through. My wife and daughter made bracelets they donated that students sold from class to class as well. We didn’t sell any necklaces as there has always been a connotation from the New Orleans Mardi Gras that we might not want to encourage in a public school with necklaces. The bracelets went over well without any “interesting” incidents. Different students volunteered to play guitar in the hall way while one young lady had a pool table brought in to raise funds from rentals.

      Our local McDonalds owner heard from one of our students about the activities and donated $223.96 from their funds included with this cheque. Our local Royal Army Cadets Unit # 2072 had a tag day and they have forwarded the $700.00 dollars they made with their JAZZ Tags earlier in the school year. As a civilian instructor with the cadets, I was delighted how they responded in such a positive supportive manner.

      In my 31 years of teaching, I have always found many young people with great heart. After Christmas one young lady and her Dad volunteered with her church group to work on rebuilding homes in New Orleans. Her stories were touching.

      Please accept this $2,834.47 as a token of concern from volunteer students and staff of Dryden High School. We wish you well in these difficult times.

Most Sincerely,
James A. Black
Law Teacher (Retiring,  June 2006),

Dryden High School


Below Are Some Pictures Taken During The Fundraising Process

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