“How do you spell ‘love’?” — Piglet
“You don’t spell it … you feel it.” — Pooh
Edmond North High School students were feeling a lot of love Friday as they learned they had passed their $225,000 goal and had raised $296,720, the largest amount ever raised, during their BALTO (Bring a Light to Others) Week.
Purple balloons bounced in the air as the total amount raised was unveiled and the students roared with excitement.
The North students chose “Winnie-the-Pooh” to be the theme for their week of fundraising, and they put in action one of A.A. Milne’s quotes, “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
Each year the three Edmond high schools, North, Santa Fe and Memorial choose and raise money for an organization that has a community connection. The three high schools then choose a Common Thread and donate 5 percent of the money raised by each of the three schools to that organization.
North students chose the March of Dimes Foundation NICU to be the recipient of 95 percent of the monies they raised, and the Common Thread for the three high schools, A Leash on Life, will be recipient of 5 percent of the money raised by the students.
The last day of the week-long activities brings to a close that, for some, is the culmination of a year-long fundraising effort.
Student leaders, in this instance three co-chairs, helped plan, organize and lead the students and the activities they participated in to raise the many thousands of dollars. The co-chairs were seniors Sally Bock, Allyson Cain and Evan Paige.
Senior Parker Stewart started the assembly madness as he offered up his beard to be shaved for a price.
A drum battle between junior Billy Freniere, sophomore Matt Shipman and “Mr. Poohtinger,” Principal Jason Pittenger played in the background as Parker’s beard was shaved.
March of Dimes Foundation worker Julie LeClercq was on hand with her triplets who were born 10 weeks pre-mature and who later helped Megan (Hines) Gaines and her husband Zac after the 9 week premature delivery of their twin girls, Tatum and Harper, who are now 20 months old.
A former North graduate Megan shared the story of how she once sat in their place, and how the birth of her daughters and the help of a Mercy Hospital NICU worker changed her life.
“When I was once sitting where you are I never thought I would be speaking to a group like this,” Megan said. “My family is one of the families you guys are supporting. Julie was a shining light when I was at Mercy after the birth of my daughters. The money you have raised will help to put March of Dimes support staff in other hospitals around the state.”
Her brother Scott Hines told the students they were making a difference in helping parents through the fear of the unknown.
Parents will have someone to lead them through the uncharted territory and won’t have to go through it alone, Hines said.
Babies are admitted to neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) to receive additional specialized medical care. Reasons for NICU admissions include preterm birth, birth defects, breathing and feeding problems, infections or other medical conditions.
March of Dimes Foundation Director Belinda Rogers said, “I don’t know what to say. It is incredible. These young people really understand, and they understand what giving to others means.”
Gill Barnett with A Leash on Life said the money received from the students would go toward raising and training more service dogs.
“We train 12 dogs a year and it costs $12,000 to $15,000 to train the dogs for service,” Barnett said.
The Queen of the Fundraising was Caroline Geurin who raised $11,277, and the Co-Kings were Alex Crawford and Nolan Wilson who each raised $4,116.33.
This community service fundraiser helps students care for other people and help them in the best way they can.
BALTO Week, sponsored by the Student Council, is totally student driven, said StuCo sponsor Brian Hunter. “This is more than one week in February,” Hunter said. “It is a tradition and a way of life.”
Senior Perrin Duncan is Student Council president and one of last year’s BALTO co-chairs.
Edmond North students might say to the children and their parents who will be recipients of their fundraising efforts another A.A. Milne quote from Pooh, “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
North students raise $296,720
“How do you spell ‘love’?” — Piglet
- Local News
Logan County pays off jail tax early, seeks new one
Logan County is paying off a sales tax ahead of schedule and needs a new one to be able to afford funding jail operation and maintenance, officials said.
Citizens vote on the county sales tax which is split for redistribution by state law. The tax is collected by the Oklahoma Tax Commission and redistributed back to the county as specified by voters.
In 2005, citizens passed a 10-year sales tax, scheduled to end next month, to fund the building, operation and maintenance of the county jail, which operates on a $1.3 million budget. Jail capacity is 188 without anyone in a holding cell or a temporary bunk. Thursday it was holding 130 inmates, said Logan County Chief Deputy Richard Stephens.
Local man relies on experience in July 4 emergency
Andy Billups just happened to have gained experience as a combat zone firefighter/medic while he was serving as a civilian contractor in Iraq.
The Edmond businessman just happened to have a friend with a place on Grand Lake where he has been viewing Independence Day fireworks for a number of years, and he just happened to be there July 4.
And he just happened to be relaxing on a hammock when he heard a some kids making a commotion.
Located two blocks east of Disney on State Highway 28 in the foothills of the Ozark Mountain Range in northeast Oklahoma, the 59,000-plus surface acre Grand Lake is known for its state parks, marinas, restaurants, motels and fishing.
5-year-old learns valuable lessons
It is never too soon to learn about giving and receiving. An Edmond 5-year-old recently learned about both.
Kendall Kingry will be entering kindergarten at Will Rogers Elementary this fall and she is already looking forward to November.
“I get to go to Disneyland in November,” Kendall said.
Edmond School District’s change orders anticipated
When building new schools and classrooms there may be additional costs, but when renovating older buildings those costs can more than double, according to a Edmond School District official.
“When remodeling, you have unknown and hidden costs and you need to include in your budgeted funds for the built-in items you can not see,” said Bret Towne, Edmond’s associate superintendent of general administration.
OC welcomes missionary, military families
For the ninth consecutive year Oklahoma Christian University will host missionary and military families returning to the United States at Global Reunion 2014.
The July 23-27 camp has doubled in size in the last two years with 150 participants from 43 countries on campus.
The camp is for children who are known as Third Culture Kids (TCKs) though parents are allowed to attend sessions as well. Directors Kent and Nancy Hartman, missionaries-in-residence at OC, give tools and resources to families that have lived outside the United States and are now seeking to reenter U.S. culture. The Hartmans spent more than 10 years as missionaries in Australia and were surprised by the challenges of reintegrating their family into America.
Planning Commission approves rezoning
The Edmond Planning Commission this week voted 4-0 in favor of rezoning from a single family district. Peter and Kimberly Roberts made the request to allow a planned unit development on the southeast corner of Jackson and Lincoln Avenue, said Bob Schiermeyer, city planner.
“They would like to have D-2 family (neighborhood commercial) zoning for duplexes, 14,000 square feet,” Schiermeyer said. “They can put four units on the property.”
Out of the stressful wreckage: Scholarships for car crash victims
After the dust has settled, the injuries have healed and there’s a replacement car in the driveway, victims of automobile accidents often still face an uphill battle trying to move on with their lives. According to psychologists, for some the fear never really goes away. It’s common enough that the National Institutes of Health gives physicians specific recommendations for patients exhibiting acute stress symptoms and PTSD after motor vehicle accidents. With more than 3 million injury accidents a year nationwide, the San Francisco Bay Area personal injury law firm Appel Law Firm LLP, sees their share of the aftermath — only they decided to do something about it.
Agencies ask for volunteers to support grandparents who raise grandchildren
Local law enforcement agencies are helping Sunbeam Family Services provide much-needed school supplies to grandparents who are faced with the challenge of raising their grandchildren. According to a recent census poll, there are nearly three million grandparents raising more than five million grandchildren in the United States.
Ganns earn Yard of the Week honors
This week’s “Edmond Yard of the Week” winner has been in existence for 44 years at 105 Barbara Drive, but looks fresh and new thanks to longtime residents Betty and Gordon Gann as they fill their garden spaces to overflowing with colors and textures.
Krazy Daze hits downtown Edmond
Newly transplanted Edmond residents Hannah Brenning, Cheyenne Middle School 8th grader; Jordan Brenning, Cross Timbers 4th grader; and Sydney Brenning, North High School freshman; check out the items in front of Sterling's in downtown Edmond during the Krazy Daze Sale lasting through Saturday. Businesses will open their doors at 10 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m.
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