Explore America fundraising efforts

24_guitar_7533GUITAR WINNER  — Ellie Garman, left, and Mariah Bitney present Gerald Miller with the guitar signed by Scotty McCreery that he won in one of the Explore America’s fundraising raffles.  Photo courtesy of Connie Bitney



The Explore America students have conducted two raffles that have already brought awareness to the program.

A raffle for a guitar signed by Scotty McCreary was won by Gerald Miller and presented by Mariah Bitney and Eli Garman on Sept. 12.

Ruby Bouma pulled the lucky ticket at the volleyball game on Sept. 14. The lucky winner of the $500 cash prize was Jack Judisch.

Other fundraising events include selling Big Train Ice Rage coffee drinks at the volleyball and basketball home games through the fall.

Pam Wittmier said, “We will also be selling live Christmas wreaths, swags and garland with pre sales starting in October."

The Explore America trip is a new trip local Conrad High School students are encouraged to participate in.

Parents involved in striking up interest in the Smithsonian Tours Explore America program see the Explore America trip as an option and an opportunity for a cultural and historical learning experiences.

Wittmier believes in options and is excited at the responses of fundraising efforts for the Explore America trip slated for this next spring.

She said, “Explore America gives the kids an opportunity to learn the foundations of our country. Traveling is an education in itself.”

She went on to say, “This past March 11 students and parents had the chance to participate and came back with rave reviews.”  Wittmier was one of the participants.

She was researching other options for educational travel after her own daughter went on the Close Up trip in 2007.

Money and time are both precious commodities for most. She said, “We should have an option in how we choose to use both of them. It is important to listen to the students and consider their input.”

After being at the Holocaust Museum this past March, Wittmier was left with a strong conviction.  She said, “Their motto was “What you do matters.”

She went on to say, “Change can be a good thing if we choose to embrace it and give it a chance. We will always have differences in opinions, but should show respect to one another.”

If you are a sophomore or junior and interested in this trip, please contact Pam Wittmier at 289-0280 or 278-4444. You can also go to smithsonianstudenttravel.com and see what the trip has to offer. (Enter tour #1221809.)