Foundation raises record amount of money during eighth annual phonathon


A record amount of money was donated during the eighth annual phonathon held Feb. 6-9 and sponsored by the LSMSA Foundation.

The event raised more than $94,800, the most in the phonathon’s history. Gifts came from 460 individual donors, nearly 19 percent of which were first-time donors to LSMSA.

Sixty-four unique student volunteers completed nearly 4,000 phone calls to parents, alumni and other friends of LSMSA to seek their support. Additionally, a small group of four alumni volunteers in Houston and Seattle made coordinated phone calls to alumni friends to help raise funds.

“I participated in phonathon because I am always looking for ways to help the school,” said Juliet Flanagan, a sophomore from Pearl River. “I ended up loving phonathon because of all the sweet alumni I got to speak to. I didn’t realize LSMSA alums were all over the country.”

Kiara Padilla, a junior from Fort Polk, volunteered to help with the phonathon because she thought it seemed like a cool way to step out of her comfort zone and raise money for her school.

“I enjoyed talking to people on the phone and getting to know them,” said Padilla. “I also enjoyed seeing, with my own eyes, how much people really support LSMSA. Some donations were small, some were large, but it was good seeing that regardless of the amount, it all made a difference and helped us smash our goal.”

By the end of Thursday, Feb. 9, the total raised was a little more than $90,000. By Friday, Feb. 10, additional donations had come in that raised the total to $92,000. And by Monday, Feb. 13, that number had risen to $94,800.

That number is expected to continue to rise slightly over the next few weeks as more donors go online to make late gifts or mail in checks.

“The LSMSA Foundation’s phonathon is not only the most critical fundraiser of the year, it has also turned into quite a fun event for our school,” said Katja Thomakos, executive director of the Foundation. “We had alumni literally sitting by their phones waiting for their call this year. They took to social media to post about their experiences talking with current students or alumni friends and were thrilled to see so much money being raised in support of their alma mater.”

Gifts from the phonathon are intended for the Foundation’s annual fund. The annual fund provides support to LSMSA where and when it needs it most. Examples of recent annual fund support to LSMSA include new and replacement textbooks, athletic equipment, costumes and set materials for theatrical and dance productions, scientific equipment and mathematics supplies.