On November 21st the Fargodome will be used for more than just a football arena or a concert venue, as high school students from the FM area serve to end local hunger with the 201 Fill The Dome event.
Every year, for the last five years, students from around the Red River Valley rally together for arguably the largest food drive of the year – Fill The Dome. Fill The Dome was conceived in 2007 and was dreamt up by student coun-
sel leaders from each of the Fargo-Moorhead area high schools. Today, the event is represented by over ten high schools in the region ranging as far north as Northern Cass, to as far south as Davies High School and range from as far east as DGF and westward to West Fargo High School.
Over sixteen juniors and seniors, from their respective high schools, make up the board of directors; who spend countless hours organizing, fund raising and preparing to make a true impact on our region. FM Spotlight, invited Torie Sandene, a senior at Shanely High School and a student director for Fill The Dome, to join us for an exclusive interview as we explore the past, present and future of this inspiring event.
Whoever said that high school students couldn’t make a difference was sadly mistaken. Locally, in the FM area, high school students have been rallying together to put an end to local hunger.
According to the Great Plains Food Bank, a division of Lutheran Social Services N.D., one in eleven individuals from around the region rely on meals provided from the food bank. The sixteen student leaders, each representing their respective high schools, understand the tremendous difference they can make locally, by putting together an annual event that impacts the entire region.
“It’s amazing just to see what can be done by a group of high school students,” remarks Torie Sandene. “We can go into a meeting with the head of a bank and present ourselves well; we’ve learned how to operate in the business world – it’s been quite an experience.”
Q&A with Torie Sandene
How much preparation goes into the Fill The Dome event?
The committee, composed of 16 student leaders, starts organizing the project in August, roughly four months before the date of the event. We meet once a week, usually at Atomic Coffee downtown, to delegate tasks, monitor progress and continue planning for the event.
Where do the donations go to serve?
All the donations that we raise – both the food and the money – go to serve the Great Plains Food Bank. During our team meetings with the leadership board, we like to remind each other that may never know exactly who benefits from the drive, but that these are people around us every day, locally in our community who we are serving.
Every $1 donated provides four meals to the food drive. Every 1.3 lbs of non-perishable food item donated provides one meal to the food drive.
What are the goals for 2011 Fill The Dome?
We are looking to raise half of a million meals this year. Most of the meals will come from the non perishable food items that will be donated to us – we’re looking to raise 100 tons of food – and the rest of our goal will come from the amount of money raised from the event, which will hopefully come in over $100,000.
What’s new to Fill The Dome this year?
In October we had our first Fill the Domecoming Dance, which was a big success for us because it helped get the word out and remind students that Fill The Dome is underway. We hosted the event at the Fargodome and all area high school students were invited to participate. The entry fee was $10 or 10 non perishable food items which contributed to our food drive.
When is the official date of the event?
The official date of Fill The Dome 201 is November 21st and 22nd. However, the food drive is already underway and we are already receiving donations and sponsorships. We have community drop box sites where you can donate non perishable food items and you can also donate money at fillthedome.org.