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Newport Beach : Class of ’85’s Theme Leads to Help for Poor

Newport Harbor High School’s 1985 graduation theme, “We Are The World,” turned out to be prophetic.

Jon Elliott, 18, president of the school’s Associated Student Body (ASB), said the selection of the theme led the seniors into an unusual gift-giving activity--selling sweatshirts to help poor families both in Orange County and in Africa.

“Our goal is to raise $16,000, but we’ve already raised about $10,000,” said Elliott. “This all started when we had an ASB meeting back in February to pick our (graduation) theme. We agreed on the theme ‘We Are The World.’ Later, when I told my mom about it, she said that’d be a good theme for selling sweatshirts and raising money to help people.

“So we got some corporations in Newport Beach to help us. They gave us $8,000, and we used that to buy 1,000 sweatshirts that has this special design on them. We’re going to sell all of those for $16 each; so far we only have about 200 left. Then with the $16,000 we make, our class will give half to the ‘We Are The World’ effort to help Africa and the other half to a local group, Share Our Selves, which helps poor people here (in Orange County).”

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Elliott said normally a graduating class gives something to the school, the seniors decided they instead would “give to the community.”


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