Capturing Christmas spirit
A Tonganoxie Elementary School class collected a whopping 832 items to donate to Good Shepherd Thrift Store and Food Bank to help those in need this holiday season.
Tiffany Parker’s kindergarten class collected the items and, as a result, won this year’s pizza challenge with Tonganoxie Mayor Jason Ward.
The partnership between Ward and Good Shepherd for the holiday challenge started in 2009.
“The drive has grown year after year,” Ward said. “It’s evident to us participation has grown every year.
“What’s so encouraging is kids as young as kindergarten are buying into the idea that they can make a difference in the community and that’s great.”
Each year around the holidays, Ward challenges students to gather items to help those in need. Ward always throws a pizza party for the winning class. This year’s happened to be Parker’s kindergarten class. Students enjoyed pizza with Ward this past Thursday at TES.
“It doesn’t hurt that a pizza party is part of the motivation,” Ward said with a laugh.
TES students had the opportunity to gather items from Nov. 17 to Dec. 2 for Ward’s challenge.
The drive is just one of a handful that helps people get involved and spread some holiday cheer and hope to others. Here’s a look at some other drives and efforts to give assistance to others this holiday season.
Courage for Cortney
Various fundraisers took place at Tonganoxie High School on Friday night in conjunction with the THS boys and girls basketball games. Ribs and raffle tickets were sold, and an auction was held at halftime of the boys basketball game.
The fundraisers were for Cortney Hutton, a THS senior who is battling kidney failure. In total, more than $5,000 was raised, and $3,475 of that came from the auction. The three items for sale were a football signed by Alex Smith, a basketball signed by Bill Self and the entire Kansas basketball team, and a cooler with the Tonganoxie High School logo.
Todd’s Tire started off the buying by claiming the signed football for $800. However, they donated the ball back to be sold again. It was sold for $550, donated back again and then sold for $350. The cooler and signed basketball were both bought and given back to be sold again also.
“There’s so much pride in the Tongie ’T’ and what it represents,” said THS coach David Hillmon. “People willing to buy stuff and donate it back, it lets you know that it’s about the person next door and taking care of each other.”
The community has been encouraged to continue to help Hutton’s cause. An account has been established at First State Bank and Trust for Hutton. Funds will be used for her medical care and help with everyday expenses while her mother provides full-time care.
McLouth giving spirit
McLouth High School National Honor Society members got to team up with the McLouth Kiwanis Club on Dec. 5 to put together their annual Christmas fruit baskets that are delivered to the senior citizens in the community along with boxes of fruit to the surrounding nursing homes.
The groups put together 124 bags total.
McLouth Elementary School was a festive place recently. Once again, the elementary student council students hosted a Christmas luncheon for local senior citizens.
Sandy Walbridge’s community and career class hosted the lunch with baked potatoes, homemade soups and desserts, while the MHS jazz band played some classic Christmas carols.
Students then topped it off with fifth-grade singers entertaining the group with Christmas skits.