Fremd doesn’t let down veterans with “Never Gonna Give You Up”

Madeline Zachman and Prayag Bhakar

From Nov. 4 to Nov.11, Rick Astley’s infamous song, “Never Gonna Give You Up,” played through Fremd hallways to raise money for The Soldiers Project, an organization that treats war veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The fundraiser was sponsored by social studies teachers Jason Spoor-Harvey and Courtney Wilhelm and surpassed its $3,000 goal, raising $3,706 for the organization.

According to Mayo Clinic, PTSD is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event and causes nightmares, flashbacks and severe anxiety. The Soldiers Project gives money to veterans so they can seek the psychological help they cannot otherwise afford.

Spoor-Harvey picked “Never Gonna Give You Up” after a class survey. Students suggested songs like “Friday” by Rebecca Black and “What Does the Fox Say” but the most popular song was “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

“I have heard of a couple other schools that have done something similar,” Spoor said. “‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ was the best option. We wanted people to have fun, be a little annoyed, and donate money. Some of the other song suggestions would have just been mean.”

Sophomore Andy Hong believes that students would have still given money whether or not the song was playing.

“I wasn’t really swayed by the song. I would have donated anyways due to the fact it was for a good cause,” Hong said .

Junior Samiksha Gupta believes the song was a great way to proactively get people to donate.

“I think its a fun way to liven up the hallways and make people more aware of the cause that they are donating to,” Gupta said. “I think it was different because people were constantly reminded that they should be donating, which in my opinion is a positive because students have a lot going on and it helps to have reminders.”

During the school day on Nov. 11, there was a question and answer panel with the veterans. There were between four and six veterans during each period, and they served in different wars ranging from World War II, the Korean War, and the present day war in Afghanistan. The school also held a Veterans Honor Assembly to recognize all the veterans in the Fremd community. The assembly began at 1:50 on Tuesday, Nov.11 and invited all members of the Fremd community to attend. Congressman Peter Roskam attended along with the mayor of Palatine, Jim Schwantz.

Wilhelm wants students to take advantage of the opportunity to talk to the veterans.

“I hope that students will have a new appreciation for Veterans Day,” Wilhelm said. “With most holidays, students are just excited to have the day off of school and little attention is paid to the reason why. Because we have school on Veterans Day this year, we decided to use it as an opportunity to remind students that the freedoms, opportunities, and our way of life is due in part to the millions of veterans who put their life on the line for everyone else.”

There was a veteran speaker, Tim O’Brien, along with a student speaker, junior Johnny Barrett, and performances by the Fremd Chamber Singers and the Symphony Orchestra.

Wilhelm believes that having future Veterans Day assemblies would be a great opportunity for Fremd.

“I would love to do this assembly every year. Any opportunity we have to recognize the service of our veterans, I think we should take it,” Wilhelm said.