Bio

DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for AIA365.com, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Xavier food drive shatters previous record

Xavier Prep continues to have that magic touch and is able to come through when its help is needed the most.

And that is during holiday time, Thanksgiving in particular.

The XCP community – students, faculty, staff, family and friends – recently set a record for its annual canned food drive for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Phoenix.

From Oct. 23-Nov. 17, Xavier, with its National Honor Society leading the way, gathered 83,798 cans of food for the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank. It shattered the previous record of about 40,000, set in 2016.

According to Tara Metzger, Xavier’s Assistant to the President and Principal and the NHS moderator, a new wrinkle was added this year in the form of the acceptance of monetary donations to help supplement the food collection.

For every dollar brought in, the can count increased by two.

As the result of the big effort, students will be allowed to wear sweat pants/jeans (“sweans’’) on Tuesday (Nov. 21), similar to other school community-service projects. So instead of a “Buck a Sweans,’’ the right to wear them will cost nothing as a thank you for all of the food-collecting assistance.

Most of the food was collected and placed in a “mini’’ storage unit in the parking lot near the school’s entrance, to be picked up each week, Metzger said. About halfway through this year’s drive, the money/can equivalent aspect was added.

“For some people, it is more convenient to do it that way, so it worked out very well,’’ she said.

One family donated $500, she added.

“We all get pumped up about it,’’ Metzger said. “Students, faculty, staff . . . we all get behind it.’’

Another way to help would be to actually go down to St. Vincent de Paul, located a bit south of downtown Phoenix, and volunteer to work for a few hours, as Metzger and others from the school have done.

“It makes a difference when you are actually there,’’ she said. “To see first-hand, all that goes into it, means even more.’’

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