Supporting the staff


Staff members pose for a photo with the shirts purchased for the fundraiser. Mrs. Erin Novak, Dean of Students, designed the shirts. Photo submitted.

Katelyn Pass

Many staff members at Lake Central have battled and are battling cancer. This year, to show support for these staff members and raise money for the Cancer Resource Center in Munster, Ind., Mrs. Erin Novak, Dean of Students, has started a t-shirt fundraiser. The fundraiser first started when staff decided to wear pink on Wednesdays to show support.

“We started wearing pink on Wednesdays for breast cancer awareness because we have quite a few staff members who are currently battling this and had recently been diagnosed. On Sept. 19, Mrs. [Jill] Zilz from the Math department was going in for a surgery, so I sent out an email to everybody, ‘Hey, let’s wear pink and take some pictures and send them to Jill to make her feel better.’ A lot of people did that when I had my surgery, and it was very motivating and uplifting to see your pals from work supporting you,” Mrs. Novak said.

Mr. Jereme Rainwater, Vocational, had his print shop class make the shirts for the fundraiser. About 260 t-shirts were ordered and made.

“We kind of just started it ourselves. When I sent out that email, I got a bunch of emails from teachers saying it would be great if we had a staff shirt to wear. I went to Mr. Rainwater and said, ‘Hey, would it be easy to make a shirt for staff members?’ [and] he said, ‘Yeah, no problem.’ We started talking about it and then we decided to open it up to staff of the whole corporation, so everybody was able to purchase one,” Mrs. Novak said.  

The money raised went to the Cancer Resource Center in Munster because of its kindness and help to the staff at Lake Central. The fundraiser raised a total of $2,594.18 for the center. .

“We decided to put the money into the Cancer Resource Center in Munster because they were one of the resources that reached out to me when I had my surgery. They set me up with a nurse, someone who I could call with any questions or if I needed someone to talk to, and they also offer therapy for me and my family,” said Mrs. Novak.

The fundraiser was a great success for those involved and will hopefully return next year. Mrs. Novak is hoping to involve not only staff but also students for the next year’s fundraiser.  

“It was a great fundraiser. I want to do it again next year and hopefully do it a little bit bigger. Open it up to students, and maybe we all can, as one big 3,400 person building, do something like that,” Mrs. Novak said.