Dakota Orcutt, left, and Brayden McKinley show off a tray of blue and yellow frosted cupcakes — the colors of Ukraine’s flag — during a bake sale hosted by the Greater High School Action Committee Fort Erie and Speci School Students
  • Left to right, Saffi Cote, Milena Frumusa and Sarah Stafford take a break during a charity bake sale to raise money for the Ukrainian Red Cross Humanitarian Relief Appeal at Greater Fort Erie Secondary School on March 10.

As war raged in Ukraine, students at Greater Fort Erie High School wanted to do something to help those displaced by the Russian invasion of the European country.

Thus, the members of the school’s action committee and the students of the Specialist High Skills Major in Hospitality and Tourism program joined forces for a bake sale. All funds raised were donated to the Ukrainian Red Cross Humanitarian Relief Appeal.

“We wanted to show our support for the Ukrainian people,” said MacKenzie Arts, a Grade 9 student who was busy selling cupcakes with blue and yellow frosting, the colors of Ukraine’s flag.

“We wanted to show them that we really care.”

The invasion has been a topic of discussion at weekly Action Committee meetings since Russian forces first entered Ukraine on February 24. The committee, which meets to discuss social justice issues, was also selling blue and yellow ribbons.

“The kids are really engaged,” said teacher Christine Suntz, liaison officer for the committee.

The idea for the bake sale came quickly, with the students not deciding they wanted to do something until just over a week before the sale on March 10.

“I asked them, ‘what do you want to do next?’ and they said Ukraine.

The committee’s past efforts have included fundraisers held to raise awareness for Black History Month in February and for Every Child Matters, an Indigenous-led campaign to bring attention to the victims and survivors of the system. boarding schools.

All of the cupcakes and treats were made by students at home with mixes they bought themselves or had on hand to maximize the donation to the Red Cross, Suntz said.

Hospitality students, led by chef-instructor Afshin Keyvani, baked different kinds of breads – focaccia, ciabatta and soft braided breads – as well as 1,500 chocolate chip cookies.

While hospitality students were graded on their cooking, that wasn’t the only thing, Keyvani said.

“The main thing is that they understand that they are doing something for society,” he said.

The sale raised $1,497 for the Ukraine relief appeal in the end.