Lutheran High School students and faculty encouraged passing motorists to get their car washed for free at the Messiah Lutheran Church site at last year's Mega Car Wash.

Car wash builds
funds, friendships

Teachers, parents and students
work together at the annual event

By Mike Bruner and Travis Watanabe
Lutheran High School

Few schools can boast of raising money in the tens of thousands of dollars over the course of six hours.

Lutheran High School, with an enrollment of 139, is holding its third annual Mega Car Wash at six sites on Oahu this Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"It's a very efficient way of fund raising, and it gets the whole school out working together," Principal Arthur Gundell said. "We hope that it raises a sufficient amount of money so that our classes do not have to spend much additional time fund raising. It also benefits the scholarship program of the school for families who have difficulty affording tuition, and in addition it helps support our athletic program.

"Beyond the raising of money, an equally important purpose of the Mega Car Wash is community building, where teachers, students and parents work together and learn to know each other."

Although it's technically a free car wash, the majority of money comes from pledges students solicit (for example, 10 cents for every car washed), with the rest coming from donations and matching funds.

Academic dean Frank Lutz washed a car at the Our Savior Lutheran Church location. This year's car wash will be held on Saturday at six locations.

"The Mega Car Wash has done very well indeed," said Athletic Director Deems Utsumi. "We made $13,000 the first year and $14,000 last year. Hopefully, we can do well again this year. That's a lot of money to help the scholarship fund, the individual classes and the athletic department."

Car wash locations will be at Lutheran High School/Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and School in the University area, St. John Lutheran Church in Kailua, Our Savior Lutheran Church and School in Aiea, Trinity Lutheran Church and School in Wahiawa, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and Preschool in Liliha, and Messiah Lutheran Church and School in Ewa Beach. Students, faculty and parents will be washing cars at each site.

The Mega Car Wash seems to be a positive experience for most students and faculty.

"I am looking forward to the Mega Car Wash," junior Joshua Jay said. "It is a great way to raise money for our school, and the excitement of washing cars is enough to wake me up that morning."

William Schriefer, director of student activities, commented: "There's a lot of hard work that goes into it, but if the students get enough pledges, it's more than worth it to everyone involved. It's a great bonding experience. I like to seize the opportunity to get to know students in a different atmosphere than a classroom setting."

"I get to see all of my friends," said sophomore Candice Chikamoto.

Even the freshmen are excited about participating in the Mega Car Wash. Freshman Jaimy Baek said, "It's a good to way to raise money because everyone will work together for the school."

Junior Yuichi Nakao said: "Good Shepherd didn't get a lot of cars last year, but we got enough cars. But since we didn't have too many cars, we had the opportunity to concentrate on each car very well."

Senior Christina Toyama will be working at Good Shepherd also. She said, "I hope that the students will have a positive outlook on this school event."

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