When St. Mark’s students do something -anything – there’s nothing half-baked about it. This December, they’re completing their annual CANpaign, a drive to collect canned goods and cash for St. Mary of Carmel school in West Dallas. And, as usual, they’re going at it like junior executives.

The campaign was started as a senior class project in 1962. Since then, consecutive senior classes have embellished the tradition. Last year, the students raised $7,200 and collected more than 28,000 cans. Not to be outdone, this year’s class has done some fine-tuning on the program, with hopes of outdoing its predecessors by collecting more than 30,000 cans and significantly increasing the charity fund.

In order to obtain these goals, the group has decided to reach for greater efficiency in distributing the leaflets that announce the drive. In the past, campaign managers have hand-stamped and addressed almost 10,000 leaflets that are sent to the neighborhoods surrounding St. Mark’s. This year, the students have contracted a private company to stamp, address and mail the leaflets. In December, the boys will go to the homes already solicited to pick up cans.

Besides the door-to-door effort, there are some inner-school pushes to break last year’s record -and to raise money. The lower-and-mid-dle-school classes compete to raise the most cans, and in the middle of December, the seniors put on a fund-raising talent show. About five or six years ago, a senior class initiated a bake sale in the school’s cafeteria to help the cause. The first few years, the event generated the usual minimal bake-sale type proceeds, but since then, the sale has changed dramatically because of one item: Mrs. Owens’ cake. For the past several years, the four upper classes have been pooling their funds to bid against each other for the cake. This year, in order to ensure top secrecy, the bids will be brought into a cake-awarding ceremony by security guards. If Mrs. Owens (a wife of a St. Mark’s teacher and mother of a St. Mark’s student) is smart, she won’t divulge her precious recipe -last year, the two-layer cake went for $1,600.


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