“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
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Camping limits enacted at Arcadia Lake
The Edmond City Council approved a 14-day limit consecutively for camping at Arcadia Lake this week. The vote was 4-0.
The Fish & Game Commission approved the recommendation in February when Edmond Parks and Recreation Director Craig Dishman discussed the policy. A camper can move to any site within the 14-day limit, Dishman said.
“They can go to another park at Arcadia Lake — to Scissor Tail or Central State Park — something like that,” Dishman said. “We’re trying to minimize the permanent residents that has kind of taken place out there.”
The new ordinance is consistent with state parks in Oklahoma, he said. It would be in effect from March 1 through Oct. 31.
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Crews battle Logan County wildfire
Crews from multiple fire departments battle a wildfire in the vicinity of Liberty Lake in Logan County. At about 3:20 p.m. Tuesday, a Logan County deputy reported the fire located near the northwest end of the lake, said Guthrie Fire Chief Eric Harlow. Firefighters from Guthrie, Oak Cliff, Deer Creek, Crescent and Coyle responded. Harlow said cause of the fire, which was burning brush piles in a wooded area, was not known. A county bulldozer was going to the scene to knock down the brush piles. Due to high winds, low humidity and brisk winds the area was under a Red Flag Warning until 8 p.m. Thursday. A wind advisory was in effect until 7 a.m. Wednesday. At 3:53 p.m. Tuesday, humidity was 25 percent, winds were gusting to 28 mph and the temperature was 79 degrees at the Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport. The National Weather Service stated outdoor burning is not recommended. Citizens are urged to report smoke to their local fire department.
Forrest Gump actor says he wants to help America’s Lieutenant Dans
It is important to build a community of support around a wounded warrior, actor Gary Sinise said.
Sinise visited Scott Sabolich Prosthetics and Research in Oklahoma City on Tuesday to help change the life of an American hero. He was accompanied by retired U.S. Army SSG Rusty Dunagan of Edmond, a triple amputee injured in Afghanistan.
Edmond’s new board member takes oath of office
Cynthia Benson took the oath of office as the Edmond Public School District’s newest school board member Monday.
Benson was elected by voters to represent District 4 in the Feb. 11 election by a vote of 253 to 217 defeating Stephanie Bills.
Judge sets trial date in Arcadia double homicide
An Oklahoma County judge has scheduled an October trial date for the defendant charged in the Arcadia Independence Day 2013 double homicide.
Court issues arrest warrant in Edmond case
An Oklahoma County judge has issued an arrest warrant for a Deer Creek man facing felony drug and firearm charges.
Guthrie gains surplus armored vehicle
The City of Guthrie recently received a six-wheel drive BAE Caiman MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protective) into its fleet.
The MRAPs are retired military vehicles made available to law enforcement agencies nationwide through local law enforcement support organizations operating under the Federal Surplus Property Donation Program and the Department of Defense.
Guthrie Chief of Police Damon Devereaux said his department has participated in the surplus property program in the past and decided to bid for the MRAP.
USGS records 3.7 magnitude quake near Langston
A 3.7 magnitude earthquake occurred Tuesday morning in Logan County.
At 7:55 a.m., the quake occurred 3 miles south-southwest of Langston and 20 miles northeast of Edmond, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Residents in Langston, Guthrie, Wellston, Nicoma Park, Enid, Stillwater and Broken Arrow reported feeling the tremor on the USGS’ “Did You Feel It?” page.
Santa Fe High presents Pirates of Penzance
The “Pirates of Penzance” is one of the most popular light operas of all times. It is filled with humorous musical numbers, lots of action, some spoken dialogue to further the plot, a happy ending and a good-natured lampooning of traditional Italian opera.
3-11 Found Pets
This is a list of animals that have been found and are at the Edmond Animal Shelter, at Interstate 35 and Covell in the Cross Timbers Municipal Complex. Call the shelter at 216-7615 for more information.
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