Earlier this spring, the We the People Team from Tempe's Marcos de Niza High School earned a spot to represent Arizona at the national competition in Washington, D.C.
But to get there, the students need to raise $37,000.
Valley developer Michael Pollack, who owns several shopping centers in Tempe, including his Tempe based dollar movie theater, Pollack Tempe Cinemas announced this week he will match up to $9,000 to send 19 Marcos de Niza students to Washington D.C. for a once-in-a-lifetime constitution contest in late April.
Pollack learned the students were halfway to their goal of raising $37,000 and in need of another $18,000 by early April in order to compete in We the People government and Constitution competition on April 25th.
“These are hard-working, great kids and really some of the smartest and brightest students we have in Tempe,” said Pollack. “I knew when the principal of Marcos de Niza called me, I had to get involved, and put out a call to the rest of the community telling them ‘I will match the money if others step forward and help the students raise the last $9,000.’”
Pollack says he hopes his gift to the students encourages others to donate. Marcos de Niza principal Frank Mirizio says he’s optimistic the remaining $9,000 can be raised by the deadline in early April. The money will pay for airfare, lodging and food while the students compete in the five-day constitutional law competition in front of law professors, senators, Supreme Court justices, and members of Congress.
The Marcos de Niza principal said this is the first year his students have been invited to the national competition. They received the invitation after finishing second in the local and statewide competition. He said the 19 seniors and their government studies teacher, Maureen Sneed, already raised $17,000 by writing letters and holding car washes and rummage sales.
Those interested in donating should call Marcos de Niza High School at (480) 838-3200, Ext. 47651, and ask for Principal Frank Mirizio.