The Edmond Sun

Local News

February 15, 2014

SLIDESHOW: BALTO breaks record

North High School raises $301,144 for Special Care Inc.

EDMOND — Students at Edmond North High School had reason to celebrate Friday when it was announced their fundraising efforts for this year’s BALTO Week paid off with a school record $301,144 for its selected charity organization.

Ninety-five percent of all proceeds from BALTO Week will benefit Special Care Inc. — an Oklahoma City organization that serves students with special needs such as spina bifida, visual and hearing impairments, autism, attention deficit disorders, Down Syndrome and other physical, mental and multi-disability conditions.  

The other 5 percent will go toward the district’s “Common Thread.” The Common Thread this year is Edmond-based U R Special, which provides shoes, coats and clothes to low- and moderate-income children ages 3-9.

In 2013, Edmond North students raised $296,720 for BALTO Week, which benefited the March of Dimes. The school has raised more than $2 million for charity since BALTO began in 1995.

Jason Pittenger, Edmond North principal, praised his students for their hard work and dedication.

“Our mission statement is the relentless pursuit of excellence in scholarship, leadership and service,” Pittenger said. “This week embodies the service component of our mission. The commitment that our kids give to this is phenomenal.”

Pam Newby, executive director of Special Care, thanked the students for their work.

“Thank you so much on behalf of each and every child at Special Care now, which is now over 200,” Newby said. “You will be touching lives of children for many years to come. We are so incredibly grateful for your hard work and generosity.”

Quinton Conaway, a junior kicker for the Husky football team, participated this year as a junior BALTO Week king candidate.

Conaway said his family has a history of serving others and he wanted to carry on that tradition.

“It (Special Care) is a great organization and I have always loved helping others,” Conaway said. “I saw this as a great opportunity to dive into the community more and really help out people less fortunate.”

Paige Hamilton, a junior BALTO Week queen candidate, said she wanted to give back to the community.

“I thought it would be fun to get out and help people in the community,” she said. “I have had a blast doing it. The money we raised is going to a great place.”

Susan Oliver, a parent of two children who have attended Special Care, thanked the students for their donation.

“The gift you are giving lasts a lifetime,” she said. “Thank you for choosing Special Care.”

Kim Hawkey, a special education teacher at Edmond North, said the service Special Care provides is invaluable to students.

“This service is invaluable to their education,” Hawkey said. “This makes all the difference of what they (students) can and can’t do in the future.”

Pittenger said the Edmond community should be proud of its students for stepping up to the plate and helping others.

“Every high school in Edmond has a service week and that says something special about the community we live in,” he said. “Our schools reflect the values of our community and our community values service to others. I am happy to be part of it.”

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