SMW’s Lanyard and Blanket Fundraiser


Sophia Li, Staff Writer

Known for their striking maroon blazers and formal appearances, members of Seniors of Merit at Work (SMW) at Arcadia High School have a lot to offer this year. SMW is a leadership organization that values integrity, citizenship, scholarship, and service to school and community. The organization consists of 50 members and has had a long and proud history of serving their community throughout the Arcadia district. From helping out at the graduation ceremony to leading the freshman orientation along with Link Crew and volunteering at back to school night, SMW’s calendar this year has been filled with a variety of activities. 

“I’ve been a part of many different service organizations, but SMW really stands out because I’ve been able to take all of the small things I’ve learned during the past three years of high school and apply it when helping all types of people in the community, whether it be at AHS or local events. It’s heartwarming to see people look relieved knowing we’re there to help them when we enter a venue wearing our blazers, or when people thank us for spending a Friday night helping their organization,” senior Swetha Somasundaram said.

“As an SMW member, my goal is to not only further my love and commitment to community service but to also encourage those around me to do the same. I hope others look to SMW as inspiration to actively participate in their own community,” senior Kristi Wu also described.

One of the big events of the year was helping out at the graduation ceremony. Not only was it their first event of the year, but it was also the most memorable event for seniors Andy Li and Matthew Chung. 

“Working with so many others and being able to see my older friends graduate was really cool,” Li mentioned.

“It was also the first time some of us were seeing each other because of the pandemic and being able to cooperate and connect with each other so easily was an amazing experience. Working such an event and getting to see all our older friends and SMW Bigs graduate was really an opportunity we might never have gotten elsewhere,” Chung also remarked. 

“My favorite/most memorable event was the Crystal Ball. This was an event where a bunch of rich and successful doctors gathered together for an auction/fundraiser for the Methodist Hospital. This experience was very surreal. Everyone looked really fashionable and snazzy. One of the people there spoke Cantonese, and I was able to converse with him. He was very cool and made the experience a whole lot better. At the end of the night, I was super tired but it was super worth it!” senior Wayne Chan, another member, expressed. 

Recently, SMW began their Lanyard and Blanket Fundraiser, which started from Oct. 27 and extends to Dec. 2. Members have been advertising and selling lanyards for $4 and blankets for $17. Each member needs to sell five lanyards and four blankets, for a total of $88.

We’re fundraising for SMW so that we can put together bonding events as well raise money for a charity SMW members decide on for themselves,” senior Parisa Haq commented. 

However, selling all of the amounts needed has not been as easy as it looks. 

“Fundraising has been somewhat difficult because a lot of organizations sell items around this time of the year. Additionally, since there are so many SMW members it can be difficult to find people who haven’t already been approached about the fundraiser,” senior Alex Fang said.

Lastly, Haq added that she’s excited because “we’re the first year that isn’t divided by gender, and we have a name change this year, so I’m really excited for future SMW generations to carry on our legacy.”


Photo courtesy of SMW