La Salle Community Raises More Than $114,000 For Better Together, Earning Celebrations


Lillian Paugh

Homeroom classes competed against each other in games during the kickoff pep rally for the Better Together fundraiser.

Nicholas Hounton, Staff Reporter

Following the conclusion of La Salle’s Better Together fundraiser, students and staff have celebrated and will continue to celebrate the success of the event in the coming weeks.

Through this year’s Better Together fundraiser, the La Salle community has raised more than $114,000 for need-based financial assistance, retreats and immersions, St. La Salle Day, and more. 

Ms. Andrea Burns ‘97 is the Vice President of Advancement and Communications, and the responsibilities of her job include the task of planning and coordinating the annual Better Together event.

This tradition of holding an annual fundraiser began with the selling of wreaths and swags by students, which is still a part of the fundraiser in its current form.

This year, approximately 200 students sold wreaths and swag to their communities, raising a total of $60,000 towards the $110,000 goal before Better Together had even started. Then, on April 4, Better Together officially kicked off with a pep rally, and on April 22 it was announced that the school had reached its $110,000 goal.

During an assembly held to conclude the Better Together fundraiser, students were randomly chosen from those who met the $150 fundraising goal to receive a variety of prizes. (Lillian Paugh)

Prior to Better Together coming into existence, La Salle has tried a variety of different fundraising methods. For example, La Salle used to sell jazz apples from Yakima, a Lasallian sister school, “because Yakima Valley is known for their apple orchards,” Ms. Burns said. This way, La Salle students could fundraise for their immediate school community while also supporting the larger Lasallian community. 

This continued for a few years until the cost of apples began to outweigh the profit which resulted in a period where La Salle experimented with a walk-a-thon until they ultimately landed on the tradition of Better Together Month.

La Salle has now successfully carried on the newest version of this tradition through today. 

Ms. Burns worked with student leaders and helped to ensure that everything was set up for the event. She was pleasantly overwhelmed with the support from the community, especially in the final 24 hours of the fundraiser.

“Thursday afternoon… we were at $90,000, $95,000,” she said. “I was thinking ‘okay, I think we can get to $100,000.’”

Each student was tasked with raising $150, and upon turning in that money, they could earn prizes. Some of these included spinning a reward wheel at lunch and a shaved ice party. Ten of the 280 students who reached their goal were selected to receive a $100 Visa gift card through a raffle.

Students found a variety of ways to raise money, such as participating in a school-sanctioned phone-a-thon to find people, like La Salle alumni and parents to ask for donations.

However, one common way to fundraise among the student body was through bake sales. For many days during the Better Together fundraising, carts were peddled around the school holding a variety of treats during break and lunch.

Some students collaborated with other members of their homeroom classes and held activities such as bake sales in the halls. (Nicholas Hounton)

According to Ms. Burns, six out of every 10 students attending La Salle receive financial aid. A large portion of the money raised from Better Together helps to fund the cost of this aid. This year, La Salle awarded around $3,000,000 in financial aid for students, Ms. Burns said. 

Originally, students were incentivized with a grand prize of a pancake party thrown for every one that successfully met their $150 fundraising goal. But then, students achieved the collective “stretch goal” of $110,000, so this grand prize was replaced by an even larger celebration — food trucks will visit La Salle on Wednesday, May 25, during St. La Salle week. 

“By the time I went to bed late that night, we had already exceeded $100,000 and we were on our way to 110, and when I woke up in the morning on Friday, we were at $106,000,” Ms. Burns said. “And by the time we got to the assembly that morning at 10:30, we were at $111,000.”

Although the Better Together celebration is beginning to come to a close this year, Ms. Burns already has goals for future years.

“My hope for the future is that there’s more cohesion amongst our entire community and that all of our students are aware of [Better Together],” she said, so that everyone feels “motivated and inspired to participate.”