American Red Cross

Rob Stotz, center, American Red Cross disaster program manager, thanks Mandan High School students, most of them in foreign language clubs, after being presented with a check for $1,400 for Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands hurricane victims on Wednesday morning. The students are, from left, Masyn Steinhaus, David Hoffman, Maggie Beach, Charlie Mize, Wayne Getzlaff, Kathryn Slavick and Brittany Barnhardt.

Last month students at Mandan High School came together for a common cause: hurricane relief for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

MHS foreign language students and junior Wayne Getzlaff held campaigns to raise funds for the U.S. territories.  

Getzlaff said he was watching the news coverage on Hurricane Maria's devastating aftermath in the Caribbean and felt compelled to help so he came up with the idea for hat day at MHS.

Every student who wore a hat in support of the cause gave $1 or more toward the relief fund. Getzlaff raised $254.

Students from the French, Spanish and Latin language clubs held a bake sale and power hour at the school, raising around $1,100. 

"Everything counts, even if you're just giving a dollar," said French club member Maggie Beach, "You're still helping out in some way, you're still putting forth that effort."

The clubs wanted to show their classmates from Puerto Rico who have  family living with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria that their fellow classmates are behind them. "We're still going to help them out, we're still going to be there for them," Beach said. 

Jill Charlebois, a French teacher and French Club adviser at MHS, said the clubs generally come together to celebrate Mardi Gras, but added that it was encouraging to see them working together for a good cause.

"They show growth and maturity realizing that it's not just all about us,"  said Charlebois about the students. "It's about other people as well and if we can help we should." 

On Wednesday, American Red Cross disaster program manager Rob Stotz met with students, thanking them for the $1,400 that was raised through their effort. 

To learn more about the American Red Cross or to donate to hurricane relief efforts, visit

Reach Tyana Johnson at 701-250-8250 or