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The LEAP Student Blog

Allison Yajko, Skyview HS: "Skyview/Columbia River Student Chest Drive"

Author: Allison Yajko
Grade: Senior
School: Skyview HS
Mascot: Storm
League: Greater St. Helens
Classification: 4A

Skyview/Columbia River Student Chest Drive
It’s embedded in us when we’re young. Either by older siblings, neighbors, parents, or teachers and coaches. The mindset of “Beat River!” if you’re from Skyview, or being a “Storm Drain” if you’re from River. The rivalry runs deep through our neighborhoods while graduates reminisce upon it. Skyview vs. River football, basketball and men’s volleyball are some of the most attended events in our district. The rivalry began when Skyview opened in 1997, and about half of the Columbia River population ditched their purple shirts for navy blue. This rivalry between the two schools in Vancouver, Washington is serving a greater purpose in the upcoming holiday season. This year, Skyview and River's ASBs have collaborated to make their schools' fundraising a competition, seeing which school can ultimately donate the most over the week. Both schools are holding a Student Chest drive to raise money for The Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools, and by making it a competition donations are anticipated in high numbers. As some extra motivation besides just trying to win, the school who rakes in enough spare change will be able to paint an object in the other school’s courtyard in the winning school’s colors.
Student Chest drives are common mostly everywhere, serving as a fast and simple way for the school district to receive donations that are in return used to help students in need. Throughout the week fundraisers are being held at each school to add to the total amount. One of these fundraisers is the much-anticipated Skyview vs. River men’s volleyball game, drawing in large crowds of students, parents and community members. The ticket sales are a notable sum to add to the donation total. By taking advantage of the greater interest gained when anything is Skyview vs. River, more money is raised to give to give back to the community.

Skyview Men's Volleyball Team - Photo: Skyview Athletics
It’s very easy to see this simply as a fundraising hack to get more change dug out of a pocket to donate, but it can also be seen as two opposing sides collaborating to benefit something other than themselves, something beyond bragging rights based on what is on the scoreboard at the end of the night. It seems like a stretch to try and make this fundraiser into something it’s not, but the two schools truly have more in common than being hungry for a win, no matter the sport or activity. Rivalry cannot happen without two opposing, but passionate sides. The passion and love we have for our schools shines through during these rivalry games specifically, coming in the form of highly spirited student sections and great attendance to anything revolving a Chieftains vs. Storm feud. ‘Feud’ should be used lightly, as relations between Skyview and River students are greatly positive, a majority of us friends from middle school and are just separated by our choice of which high school to attend. Ultimately, our goal at these games is the same too; support our school, be with our friends, and then see our friends from the other school after the game. Any hard feelings from the scoreboard disappear once embraced in a hug from a friend you were excited to see from the opposing student section. Once again, we’re really all here for the same reason. 
When looking outside the box of rivalry that is gifted to us as freshman, the simpler idea of enjoying high school and being passionate about tradition is much easier to grasp, especially when we realize that the opposing school has the same intentions. It’s times like collaborating on the Student Chest drive that having the same end goal as a rival is made clear, it’s just easy to get lost in the competitive spirit rather than empathy, which everyone could use a little more of, school competition or not.

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