by Vincent Roca
Salapalooza has always been an event that students look forward to as the school year comes to a close. However, this year, lack of both funds and student motivation threatened to destroy not only one of the few school wide social events, but our school’s final goodbye to the graduating senior class. However, Student council did not give up. Due to their recent attempt to save Salapalooza, ends have been met and the picnic will go on. Student Council Co-President, Pompeo Mazzella noted that there had to be a tradeoff to keep the event going. Although Salapalooza will go on, the amount of food and purchased activities, such as the obstacle course, will be reduced to fit the budget.
When students began studying for midterms many members of Student Council feared that this year there would not be a Salapalooza. This fear was a very real one. With funds already low and no sign that more funds would be coming in, student council was close to deciding that this year’s Salapalooza would be canceled. Why was this year so difficult? Mazzella went on to explain that, “We have never had to fundraise like we ended up doing this year. In the past we used homecoming to get our money, but not that many people bought tickets so we only managed to raise $500. And even before homecoming we got money from the vending machines which brought in money weekly, without that money student council doesn’t have the funds to supply. We had to rely on the students to get involved with homecoming and the year round ‘dollar’ days, but there wasn’t enough money from those attempts” When all seemed lost, the council decided that this graduating class deserved a Salapalooza, and they would do as much as they could to keep the tradition alive.
In order to save Salapalooza, Student Council went on a “Save Salapalooza” campaign, complete with its own twitter hash tag (#SaveSalapalooza). During the last weeks, they organized multiple raffles as an attempt to raise the necessary funds. Mazzella noted that, “The fundraiser that worked really well this year was the first fundraiser that raffled off six items, we raised $500. The second fundraiser, the 50/50 raffle, didn’t prove to be that successful because we only got around $100 dollars total. Together, they added to enough money to let us start planning this year’s Salapalooza.” The fundraising continues. Tuesday May 29th, Ben and Jerry’s will be hosting Student Council and 30% of profits go towards Salapalooza. “If a lot of people show up, I can promise that everyone will have a more enjoyable Salapalooza,” Mazzella added.
The plan for Salapalooza this year will be different from the past years. Due to lack of participation in the multiple fundraisers, this year’s event had to be cut down. While Salapalooza usually consist of pizza, watermelon, Italian ice, and soda, this year, sadly, no pizza will be provided. Mazzella ensured that this year will be just as great as all of the Salapaloozas of the past. All of the great parts of Salapalooza will still be going on such as the faculty/student softball game, the 3 on 3 basketball tournament, ultimate Frisbee games and many more activities. The date of Salapalooza is the Friday before finals.
In the larger realm of things at Branford High School, Salapalooza is only one of the many student events that have suffered due to lack of school spirit and the ambition to donate and participate. Mazzella as a final note warned students of the dangers of this growing sense of apathy within the student body, he said, “This lack of motivation has damaged many major events this year including homecoming, Mr. BHS, and Salapalooza. The student body needs to get motivated. Student council tried and continues to try to stir a sense of school spirit with spirit week and other events throughout the year, but the students have to do their part too.” Student council exists to provide for the student body, so we, as students, must do our part in assisting their efforts to improve the BHS community for everyone in order to keep great, student run events such as Salapalooza alive.