As hundreds of students say goodbye to Richmond Senior High School and head off for spring break, one dedicated group will remain on campus for the Raiders Rockin’ for a Reason Rock-a-thon. Tonight will mark the third year of the event, and coordinators have dedicated their time to making it the best one yet.
The Rock-a-thon, which has raised more than $11,000 since its inception, will be held in the school’s cafeteria and will give students and faculty members the chance to raise money for a number of causes in Richmond County. Participants will stay up all night and spend time watching movies, playing games and working for a good cause.
Students are required to raise a minimum of $50 to gain admission to the event, and high school senior Hollie Hudson said most students have already surpassed the $50 goal.
Hudson, who has participated in the fund raiser all three years, said the Rock-a-thon has continued to grow each year, so planners have added a few events to make the time special.
“This year we’ve tried to plan ahead,” she said. “Previously it’s been a thing where you sit and rock, and this year it’s going to be more standing up all night and having fun … We have a bunch of new events so we can keep people awake and having a good time.”
One of those activities will include a ‘Womanless Beauty Pageant,’ Hudson said, which will be intended specifically for the guys in the group.
Some students have even brought in in recliners, couches, televisions and gaming consoles of their own during past Rock-a-thons.
“Rocking chairs are encouraged but not required,” said school counselor Christy Ransom. “Our goal is simply staying awake all night. That’s where the rocking comes in. We’re ‘partying’ all night … We do dances like the ‘Cupid Shuffle’ and the ‘Wobble’ every hour on the hour, and we have a Conga line at about three or four in the morning. We also have Karaoke and board games.
“It’s a giant RSHS slumber party, with no slumbering, of course,” she said. “The whole event is to bring RSHS students together to raise money for local causes and have fun doing it! I am fortunate to be involved with this truly wonderful event for the third year in a row and I hope it continues to grow each year.”
Senior Tayler Brown added that tonight’s event will also include a special appearance from Jonathan Hernandez, who receives a portion of the proceeds each year.
“It’s his birthday,” Brown said, “so he’s probably going to be coming out for a little while with us.”
Brown said the group also hopes to raise money for several local charities. Funds raised will be allocated to specific groups around the area, and a small collection is kept at the high school to assist students who may have need for it.
Businesses around the area also lend a helping hand to the ‘rockers’ by donating food and refreshments.
“We’ve had local businesses already assist us,” Ransom said. “Biscuitville, Perdue, and Pepsi Bottling Company are just a few that have contributed to this year’s event.”
Brown agreed that the local community has been extremely helpful this year, and said the benefits of the fund raiser far outweigh the stress that goes with planning it.
“We still enjoy doing it because of how it’s helping other people,” Brown said. “We want the students to see that we’re privileged to have everything we have, and to be as healthy as we are, and to be able to do the things we do — especially when we get to have fun as well as help others.”
To find out how you can contribute, contact Christy Ransom or Suzanne Hudson at Richmond Senior High School at 910-997-9812.