Students raise more than $1,000 for care fund
Students at Prairie Ridge Elementary School are winners – Wimmer’s Winners to be exact.
Students raised $1,004.26 for the Ron Wimmer Student Care Fund the week of Nov. 29 to Dec.3.
This year, each grade at the school chose to do a community service project. School staff chose the Wimmer’s Winners Coin Drive, but students were more than a little excited to help.
Claire Stevens, fifth-grader, said all grades brought in coins to donate to the fund, which helps families in De Soto USD 232.
“You can put in any amount of coins,” she said. “Friday was our free day, so you can bring anything.”
Rose Elbert, third-grader, said she brought in a donation every day to assist district families in need.
“My mom wanted me to bring in $2 each day to help,” she said. “It really helps them.”
Each day of the week was designated for a particular coin, with the value growing each day, said Michelle Hite, principal.
Grant Rachwal, fourth-grader, said the fund was a good way to help people in need.
“Maybe if someone’s house burnt down, they could get help from the fund for clothes and stuff,” he said. “It will make them feel better.”
Adam White, second-grader, said the fund can also help families that are struggling because of work.
“If you get kicked out of your job, you can get money from the coin drive,” he said.
The fund aims to help patrons of the district who have fallen on hard times. All donations are kept confidential. Since the funds inception in August, the district has raised more than $22,000 and helped 13 families, said Alvie Cater, director of administrative services and community relations.
“Each day principals and social workers identify families that are in dire need of help,” he said. “It’s right here in Johnson County. Sometimes we fail to see all those in need.”
Rose said bringing in her coins was a good feeling.
“It’s good to help others,” she said. “They are like butterflies in a cocoon that can’t fly. We are helping them get out.”
Claire said the fund could help people feel protected.
“The fund is important because families are going to be safe,” she said. “The fund can help them, and it could make their day or their month. It can help them get back on track.”
Adam said families that were helped by the fund would be excited.
“I think they’ll be flabbergasted,” he said. “They will be shocked to get money when they don’t think they would.”
On Friday, students presented a large check to Ron Wimmer, district superintendent. The classes from each grade that raised the most funds played in a scrimmage basketball game with Doug Sumner, superintendent-elect.
The event ended with a basketball relay race pitting fifth graders and Sumner against teachers. The relay included participants dressing in oversized clothing and racing to the end of the gym with a basketball.
The students won.
Claire said the coin drive would be a huge success.
“If all the schools pitched in then we could help more people,” she said. “We could hit all of Shawnee.”