SPRING HILL — As part of the International Baccalaureate program at Springstead High School, senior Andrea Purvis had to do a Creativity Action Service project — a good deed in the community.
She's a swimmer and knew she wanted to do something with athletics. But what?
"If I'm going to do a fundraiser for athletics," the 17-year-old recalled telling herself, "I had to find a corresponding charity."
A fellow swim team member, she said, has a brother who swam with Special Olympics.
"I met him and talked to his family," she said.
She had found her project: raise money for Special Olympics.
The fundraiser, dubbed Olympic Fest 2012, was held in September.
"It had a short-distance run for all different age groups," Andrea said, with participants paying a fee to run for medals.
Money also was raised from vendors, who paid $30 each for spaces to present their businesses. A banner at the event displayed the names of the businesses.
School groups sold refreshments. FBLA offered hamburgers and hot dogs. The National Honor Society sold fried Oreos. Interact (Rotary's high school-level club) had snow cones, and People to People provided baked goods.
Community donations were raffled. There was music and carnival games.
"I thought it went quite well," Andrea said. "Raising $1,070 is quite good for a first-time event."
Especially, she pointed out, since the last two hours of the event were rained out. Attendance was about 300, including volunteers.
Andrea worked as a Special Olympics volunteer over the summer.
"She has gone to their swimming practices and weight-lifting practices and plans on continuing to volunteer with the Special Olympics," said Springstead guidance counselor Jan Pletincks. "She has been able to get to know the kids on the teams and loves to help them to succeed in their academic endeavors."
Besides going to Special Olympics practices, her project has taken Andrea to the Rotary Club, the Greater Hernando County Chamber of Commerce and other groups for raffle prizes and donations.
"She said that she learned a lot about networking," Pletincks said. "She has learned how to improve her public speaking and marketing of the event."
Andrea is the daughter of Tracy Terzigni and Marc Purvis.