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BHS student plans new fundraiser for Project Pencil

Last year, Burnsville High School student Egeziharya Yilma gathered school supplies worth $10,000 through a fundraiser she called Project Pencil.

Egeziharya Yilma with her project.
At bottom right, Yilma with a group of Ethiopian students.

This year, she hopes to collect more through a new fundraiser — a Project Pencil Dance Marathon that will take place from noon to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 1 in the Burnsville High School gymnasium, located at 600 E. Hwy 13. [Link to flyer]

Her goal last year was to fill six suitcases with notebooks, pencils, folders, backpacks, erasers and more for students in Ethiopia. Donations exceeded her expectations, thanks to classmates, school staff and community members. So over the summer she traveled with her father to Ethiopia with seven suitcases and worked with the Ethiopian Department of Education to distribute supplies at several schools.

“Although Project Pencil was a success last year, we are trying to make it even bigger this year with more community involvement,” said Egeziharya. “Even something so little can have a big impact.”

The dance marathon will enable Project Pencil to get more supplies and cover other costs. It is also a way to get those in our schools and community involved in such a great cause. The event will include free dinner for participants in the marathon (spectators can come watch for free). There will be multiple grand prizes at the end for the winners of the marathon, including a new laptop, cash and gift cards.

Don’t want to dance? No problem! Anyone who is interested in volunteering for the event should go to the Sign-up Genius Site to select a volunteer spot. The event can be counted for volunteer hours for National Honor Society and WEDAY.

Tickets for the Project Pencil Dance Marathon are $10 and are available online. Rules for the marathon are as follows:

  • All participants must be ready to start at 12:30 p.m! No exceptions.
  • There must be two people to compete in the dance marathon.

  • Every individual person gets two, five minutes breaks they can use during the marathon. (Any who take more will be disqualified).

  • All couples must be dancing or moving at all times.

  • If a person falls on the ground and doesn't get up immediately they will be disqualified.

  • The theme is famous duos! Please come dressed up as your favorite duo! (There will be a costume contest).

  • Dinner is free for participants. Cost is $5 for spectators.

Dinner will be at 4:30 p.m. Everyone gets a 45 minute break. The high school swing group, Freestyle and an Ethiopian Cultural group will be performing as well! 


Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 11:00