Rivalry Extended: Food Drive Battle

Lindsay Romano, Author

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Most schools participate in the tradition of running a food drive each year, and often near the time of Thanksgiving. This year Oakmont was no exception, but the National Honor Society decided to add a bit of a twist, incorporating the well-known rivalry between Oakmont Regional High School and Gardner High School.

Inspired by a tradition between Leominster and Fitchburg, NHS advisor, Paula Stefanakos, decided to expand the food drive into a friendly competition. “I figured why not use the rivalry for something that creates winners no matter who loses?” she comments.

Gardner Student Council gladly accepted the challenge and raised the stakes, adding a light-hearted consequence for the school with fewer canned items: wearing the opposing school’s colors. Gardner StuCo also created a unique golden trophy for the winners.

After weeks of canned food collections, the numbers were announced at the Annual Gardner-Oakmont Thanksgiving Football Game. Oakmont pulled off the Food Drive win with 520 items, while Gardner collected a close 468 items.

Upon returning to school after the break, Gardner students showed up decked out in green and white. However, they told Oakmont students to start buying black and orange for next year because they intend to win. So prepare to prove them wrong next year as we continue this exciting new tradition!