By Norma Richman
“We really wanted to help out and make a difference in other people’s lives. It was fun to chant and cheer at carline. In the end, the school prediction was right. The Rams did win. I’ll always remember how good it felt to help others.”—Penny V., age 9
While the Rams’ House was abuzz with anticipation of Super Bowl LVI, two third-grade classes at High Point Academy were working behind the scenes to bring about a simple act of charity. Mrs. Masserer’s and Mrs. Marble’s students joined forces to help out Friends in Deed, a local food bank that serves families in the Pasadena area. Their Souper Bowl VI was the most successful to date, collecting 356 cans of hearty soups and stews for delivery to FID.
The students’ plan started with a well-orchestrated publicity campaign to drum up donations and ended with a drive-by collection at carline on February 11th. The plan included a bid to see which Super Bowl team would likely win that Sunday—the Bengals or the hometown favorite, the Rams. There was no mystery about the likely outcome: the Rams won 273 cans to 83 cans for the Bengals. But it was all for a good cause, and the third graders learned a valuable lesson in the process.
Snowden Y., 9, put it this way: “We prepared for the Souper Bowl by making posters that were promoting it.” She added, “Friends in Deed is a food bank for people who aren’t doing very well and might not have much food. It made me feel good because I knew I was helping people who needed it.”
Eight-year-old Knox Z. further explained the process: “Well, our teacher got two tables. We made posters out of blue and orange paper for the teams. Mrs. Marble showed us a video about Friends in Deed, and we went to everyone’s classroom to talk about how it was a place for people who need help.”
“We were cheering in front of carline with big signs and balloons. I was surprised because so many people voted for the Rams. It made me feel good because of all the people who donated. The real game was exciting, but I was mad because one guy from the Bengals pulled on the facemask of a Ram,” said Desmond L., an observant nine-year-old.
While the final score at So-Fi Stadium on Sunday was a respectable 23-20, the haul at HPA was a more than 3 to 1 ratio in favor of the home team. The energy was through the roof at school on Friday as the third graders scored. Their follow-through was to load all the soup and stew cans into heavy boxes—it took no fewer than four kids per box to carry their bounty to a waiting car.
Will G., 9, noted: “We had a lot of people at school cheering. They are thankful and surprised that there was this much food. For the game, I was really surprised that the Rams came through at the very last and at the half-time show, too.”
Mrs. Masserer was gratified to see how much the children understood and cared about others in need and how successful their efforts were, noting that “It was an honor to keep the tradition going because there’s certainly need in our local community. The students were eager to support the mission of Friends In Deed.”
Mrs. Marble also reflected on the entire experience: “Something I admire about our students is how they prioritize getting information out to the families of High Point and their dedication in informing everyone of why they were collecting cans. It was amazing to see everyone come together and gather such an incredible amount of food! It is just that much better that we had a home team in the game and we WON! The students had a blast cheering for a Los Angeles team. Go Rams!”
It only took 90 seconds to decide the winners of Souper Bowl LVI, but High Point’s third graders spent hours prepping for their big day, and their work paid off: Friends in Deed, was the big winner receiving the largest haul from HPA yet. FID, located on Washington Blvd., typically provides canned goods and dry goods to about 400 households per week. It also offers meat and other proteins and fruits and vegetables when possible. In addition it also provides pet food, toiletries and baby formula.