Food Gatherers and Multi Culti 2015

Mary Schlitt looks on at the crowd of Community students in St. Andrew’s church on Tuesday.


Audio breakdown:

  • 0:00 Presentation of forum fundraising efforts
  • 9:21-10:18 Total amount raised announced
  • 10:53-11:27 Mary Schlitt’s speech
  • 12:12-21:55 Dean Marci’s speech
  • 22:05 Avery Farmer’s poem
  • 24:00 Introduction of Multi Culti
  • 30:34 Presentation of cultures (by forum)
  • 33:40 Khalil Eljamal singing “Loch Lomond” for Scotland

THE CRISP Tuesday air invited a sense of excitement from the Community students arriving at 7:45 am for a day of celebration, culture, and giving back.

Students’s dashed to and fro, finishing last minute room preparations for Multi Culti. However, at 9:30 the real excitement began. Community High School has partnered with Food Gatherers, a non-profit organization whose mission is to alleviate hunger as well as eliminate its causes, for seven years, and the presentation of each forum’s fundraising efforts was taking place. Each forum–in alphabetical order starting with Anderson and ending with West–presented the money they had raised to Mary Schlitt, chief development officer of Food Gatherers.

The room filled with cheers, laughter and even tears when the total was announced.

Community High School had raised $28,879. Harold and Kay Peplau agreed to match the amount the school raised, which brought the total to $57,758.

“I’m trying not to cry,” Ms. Schlitt said, “that’s 173,000 meals, I’m stunned. On behalf of food gatherers and our board and our staff, thank you for putting the “thanks” into Thanksgiving.”

Anne Thomas’s forum raised the most out of any forum, a grand total of $4,648.

According to Food Gatherers, 14.7 percent of people in Washtenaw County don’t know where their next meal will come from. That’s about 52,074 people. Community High School undoubtedly gave back this Tuesday.

Dean Marci could not stop from smiling. “That’s what it means to be a part of a community,” she said, “it’s a give and a take, it’s learning from each other, it’s giving back and it’s stepping up when someone else can’t, and I’m really proud of you.”

After the stirring presentation to Food Gatherers, the assembly transitioned to Multi Culti, Community’s annual celebration where each forum presents a culture (decorates their room, makes food, learns about a culture) to the rest of the school.

Each forum sent a representative up to answer a trivia question about their forum’s culture asked by Forum Council Presidents Erez Dessel and Avery Farmer. Kiley forum member Khalil Eljamal, at the urging of his fellow forum members, even sang the traditional Scottish song “Loch Lomond.” In a kilt of course.

One of the activities of the Kiley forum, which presented Scottish culture, was having Herm Steinman, a retired principal of Lakewood Elementary School and a Scottish expert, play the bagpipes for them and the Stern forum.