On the Bright Side: Schenevus kids give funds from canceled class trip to animal shelter

Sarah Eames | The Daily Star

Susquehanna SPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes, left, accepts a $500 check from Peyton Darling, Hugh Gallagher, Triston Salisbury and Mason Schecter, representing the Schenevus Central School class of 2020, on June 23.

When their senior class trip was canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Schenevus Central School class of 2020 decided to donate more than $1,000 of the funds they raised to local nonprofits.

The 27 Schenevus seniors were supposed to spend a few days in New Jersey and New York City after the last of their Regents exams and before graduation, raising about $17,000 for the trip, according to senior class President Peyton Darling.

“Instead of spending all of our money on ourselves, we decided to donate it,” he said.

Darling and fellow classmates Hugh Gallagher, Triston Salisbury and Mason Schecter presented $500 checks to Catholic Charities of Delaware, Otsego, and Schoharie Counties, the Schenevus-Maryland Fire District and the Susquehanna SPCA.

“This makes a great impact,” said SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes. 

The $500 aligned with a matching donation campaign already underway at the shelter, she said, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous benefactor. The students’ donation pushed the shelter just over the halfway mark to its $100,000 goal.

“The community has been helping us out pretty much since we were born,” Gallagher, who serves as class treasurer. “It’s good to give a little back at the end.”

The remaining funds were used to purchase yearbooks, school sweatshirts and sweatpants for each of the seniors, as well as a scholarship fund that awarded each student between $600 and $800 for their community service and participation over the last four years, according to Paula Darling, senior class co-advisor.

“I think what these kids are doing is amazing,” said district Superintendent Theresa Carlin. “They were supposed to go on their senior trip and do all these other activities, but they decided to turn around and give back to the community. I couldn’t be more proud.”

Sarah Eames, staff writer, can be reached at seames@thedailystar.com or 607-441-7213. Follow her @DS_SarahE on Twitter.

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