BY Jessica Mathews /

Students were able to raise more than $222,000 as part of Howell High School’s Senior Survivor fundraiser.

It was said to be a fun-filled, action-packed week at the high school as 16 seniors participated in the annual fundraiser. During the week-long fundraiser, the 16 survivors collected donations, participated in reward and immunity challenges, and hoped to raise enough money each day to remain in the competition.

In total, the students raised $222,828 to support the building of a Senior Survivor Playground at the Genoa Township Park that will be all-inclusive and allow people of all abilities to play together.

In addition, the playground will consist of natural elements and textures such as logs, stumps, ropes, boulders, and plants – which present opportunities for individual exploration and discovery and collaborative play.

When the last dollar was counted, Aidan Ralko was named the winner of this year's Senior Survivor competition.

With this year's total, Senior Survivor has raised more than $992,635 since it began 15 years ago.

Senior Survivor began Sunday, April 24, when 16 Howell High School seniors moved into the school with the goal of remaining in the competition until Friday. The students collected donations during the day and competed in immunity and reward challenges at night. Each Senior Survivor was supported by a fifth-grade survivor at the elementary level and a middle school survivor at the middle school level. The junior and middle school survivors raised funds at their school to support their Senior Survivor.

Howell High School Principal Jason Schrock said "Creating Senior Survivor Playground is the most ambitious cause that Senior Survivor selected. When done, the playground will be an asset to our community that promotes inclusion and encourages students of all abilities to play together”. Schrock added that he is very proud of students and the community for supporting the project and raising funds to create something that will benefit all children in the community.

This year's Howell High School Senior Survivors were Maggie Carstensen (Team Mag-n-Cheese), Rohan Cheerla (Team Rock N' Ro), Lexi Farr (Team T-Lex), Ian Grager (Team Meatball), Audrey Kane (Team Make It Kane), McKenzie Maher (Team Big Mac), Faith McDevitt (Team McHammer), Elayna Mockbil (Team Plain Jane), Brenton Nichols (Team Nicholback), Nolan Petru (Team Pushin Petru), Aidan Ralko (Team ADRalko), Noah Ramonaitis (Team Ramo's Revenge), Leah Sleder (Team SLEDDOG), Maeve St. John (Team St. Maeve), Trey Stone (Team Ice Trey) and Brooke Studebaker (Team Brookie Cookie).

A groundbreaking for Senior Survivor Playground is set for Friday, May 20th at Genoa Township Park. Senior Survivors from 2021 and 2022, along with school, district, and township officials, will be present for the groundbreaking.