Assisting a camp for kids is the goal that’s been set by a group of local high school students.

Howell High School’s annual Senior Survivor will get underway this weekend with 16 students set to arrive at the school on Sunday, April 28th, with the goal of raising enough money each day to remain in the competition throughout next week. Each day the Senior Survivors will fundraise during the day and compete in immunity and reward challenges at night. At the end of the school day, the two students who raised the least amount of money will be eliminated and sent home. The student who turns in the most money on the last day of the competition will be named the winner of Senior Survivor.

The senior class has set this year’s fundraising goal at $100,000 with all of the funds donated to North Star Reach a medically-supported camp near Pinckney that serves kids with chronic and life-threatening health challenges and their family members, all at no charge to them.

This year’s Howell High School Senior Survivors are Chloe Chandler (Team Chlochan), Lexi Garbacik (Team Bacik), Madelyn Gillett (Team Mad Money), Matt Hornyak (Team Matty Freeze), Dawson Kling (Team Kling-kong), Sarah Laughner (Team S'laughter), Isaak Miller (Team Money Mill), Ben Masters (Team Chicken Master), Shane Morrison (Team Sh'merica), Kallan Packard (Team Pack-attack), Seth and Sydney Ramonaitis (Team Ramo), Grace Snell (Team Snail), Darko Stavrev (Team D.N.A.), Liam Timmerman (Team Timmerdation), Paige Van Gordon (Team Rage Paige), and Jenna Wincher (Team J-win).

Each Senior Survivor will be supported by a fifth grade Junior Survivor at one of the district’s elementary schools, who will support their senior partners by leading a coin drive in their schools. New this year, the Howell High School student council is hosting a community-wide event to kick off Senior Survivor Week. The inaugural Senior Survivor Carnival will take place this Friday, April 26th, at 6 p.m. in the Howell High School Field House. The carnival will include games, inflatables, photo booth, arts and crafts, raffles, entertainment, and food. Admission is $10 per person (kids under age 3 are free), or you can buy a family pass for $30 (up to 5 family members from the same home.) An adult must accompany students in eighth grade or below. All proceeds from the carnival will go towards a scholarship in memory of Julianna Ward-Brown, a member of the Class of 2019 who passed away last year.

“We are very excited to support two outstanding causes with this year’s Senior Survivor. By helping to fund a scholarship in honor of Julianna, our students will ensure that their classmate’s memory will live on,” said Gabby DiNatale, Howell High School student council advisor. “North Star Reach is an amazing organization that has provides a camp experience for children who cannot attend a traditional summer camp due to serious health challenges. We have students as well as children in the community who have attended North Star Reach, so to be able to support the mission is very rewarding.”

“North Star Reach means so much to me. It has shown me that I’m not alone and that others have been through what I have,” said Shyann, a three-year camper who lives in the Howell Area. “North Star Reach has changed me in a great way. I have made so many new friends, and it has shown me that my condition doesn’t hold me back.”

Doug Armstrong, North Star Reach Founder & CEO, said they are “tremendously grateful to Howell High School seniors and community for choosing North Star Reach as their “Senior Survivor” charity” and that the “incredibly generous financial support will make a significant contribution” toward their efforts to positively impact the lives of children and their families facing serious health challenges.

Last year, Senior Survivor raised more than $90,000 that was split between the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) and LACASA. To date, Senior Survivor has raised more than $350,000 for various charities. You can find out more about this year’s Senior Survivors, or make a donation, through the link below. (JK)