Pranking it forward: West seniors joke for a cause

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 5, 2014

On Sunday night, my fellow seniors and I came together to prank West Rowan High School for a cause.
Instead of spray-painting the windows or luring a cow up the staircase, we decided to camp out on the front lawn of our school and find a way to help someone in our community. As ideas circulated in the minds of each senior, Jake Kennedy and I decided to “prank it forward” instead of smashing the school into pieces as other prankers have done in the past. But what to do?
The answer came easily. A West Rowan graduate, Jake Lane, lost his life in a car accident May 23.
My sister, Alyssa Sides, survived the crash and is now tackling the oh-so-difficult task of recovering from this horrible event. Thankfully, my family is not having to arrange a funeral or mourn the loss of a family member, although that barely passed us by. We are blessed to be able to say that Alyssa is still here smiling, talking and breathing.
Unfortunately, the Lane family was not so lucky.
In a time of extreme tragedy for the Lane family, the senior class decided that there must be something we could do to help. Tragedies similar to the one the Lane family is facing have happened too often to members of the West Rowan community. At the beginning of this year, on the very first day of school, West Rowan lost two students in a car crash.
Everyone hoped it would be the last.
However, accidents such as this are just that — accidents. No one can predict or determine when or where they will occur. All you can do is hope and pray that you will not be the family who receives that single phone call from a policeman presenting you with the worst news possible.
When compared to the overwhelming pain and trauma the Lanes are going through, a monetary gift is a tiny form of consolence. But we knew that it would at least help ease the financial burden of losing a loved one. So there it was. Our official senior prank.
For every hour we camped out at West Rowan High, each senior donated a dollar to this cause. On Monday morning, with other students observing the strange scene of tents and coolers, students handed me their share.
Although at first we weren’t sure if the fundraiser would be very successful, we ended up raising $200 for the Lane family. This is the legacy we will leave behind at West Rowan High School. As we seniors look back on high school in the future, we will always remember this prank as not only as a hilarious joke, but also as a symbolic representation of how powerful and effective one group of students can be.
Sydney Sides is a West Rowan High School senior and Salisbury Post intern.