Notre Dame Prep

Joseph Jebara (left) works the soundboard in the NDP Live Giving Day production. Carlo Lanza (right) takes a break from his on-camera anchor job to assist producers. Noah Lederer (front) updates the website for audience engagement and feeds fundraising stats to on-air anchors.

Students at Notre Dame Preparatory held an eight-hour telethon-style livestream event for the school’s annual Mardi Gras Giving Day, an event that helps raise money for the school’s Saints Fund. This year, students met their goal, raising over $86,000 for school improvements, equipment and tuition assistance. 

The fundraiser was spearheaded by students from the NDP Live! Club, which offers a wide array of opportunities to learn about marketing and media. 

“I’m so proud of these kids,” NDP Live! moderator Jayce Henderson said. “They are professional beyond their years and work hard to produce quality content. The success of Giving Day is all theirs.”

The annual Mardi Gras Giving Day is an important fundraising event for the school, and it helps honor the students and the school’s Catholic identity. 

“Mardi Gras Giving Day is just a super-charged fundraising event to celebrate our school,” Kimberly Haub, assistant director of communications, said. “We chose Mardi Gras because it’s the day before Lent when many Catholics are thinking about almsgiving (giving to others as an act of virtue) and ways to give to God.”

The student-led event reached their $50,000 goal in the first five and a half hours, and with the remaining time, they were almost able to double that goal. 

“I was so tired when it was over,” senior Juju Montes, one of the show’s co-anchors, said. “But it was worth it because we reached our goal early and then went on to raise even more money for our school.” 

The students produced various entertainment segments for the event, including interviews with alumni, current students, and representatives from other school programs. Most notably, drama student Olivia LaPorte sang a song from the school’s upcoming musical Little Women.

Montes worked with senior Bennett Curran to produce the livestreamed show. With their media team, the duo created 84 unique videos that intertwined with live, top-of-the-hour fundraising updates and informative segments about the school. 

“It was a celebration of all the things we love about our school,” Jenni Douglas, alumni engagement coordinator, said.

Shortly before the crew went live, they were surprised with the announcement that they had won eight awards from the Arizona Interscholastic Press Association for their work from the previous school year. The awards included recognition for news anchors Montes and Curran, two feature stories and other production achievements. 

The AIPA ceremony was canceled, but students received their awards in the mail in April.