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Author Topic: Neveln Students Raise More Than $1,000 During ‘Penny War' for Operation Uplink  (Read 3575 times)

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Offline Redmaxx

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The “Penny War” is over, and American soldiers are the winners.

By Lee Bonorden/Austin Daily Herald
AUSTIN, Minn., March 30, 2007--A total of $1,159.53 was raised to support Operation Uplink, the Veterans of Foreign Wars' own effort to provide telephone calling cards for U.S. armed forces personnel stationed overseas.

“It's not about the winning,” said Lea Semones, a fifth grader, “It's about the giving.”

Semones is one of 12 Neveln Elementary School student council members who organized the fund-raiser for Operation Uplink. She is treasurer of the Neveln organization.

According to Nikky Krautbauer, music teacher and student council advisor, it took the students only two weeks to raise $1,159.53.

Mrs. Dolan's fifth-grade class was the first-place finisher in the “Who can raise the most pennies?” competition. Mr. Phillips' second-grade class finished second.

To the winners went doughnuts on their last day of school before the spring break.

The campaign ended Thursday, and the money collected was counted by Community Bank of Austin.

Winning teams earned doughnuts from Jim's Super Fresh Bakery, Produce and Garden Center.

Neveln Elementary School is famous for its enterprising fund-raising efforts and food drives. Coming up is the school's Parent Teacher Council's Spring Fling carnival, but other fund-raisers have been held throughout the school year, including those benefiting the Salvation Army Austin Corps.

But helping American soldiers communicate with loved ones back home is new to the school.

Krautbauer said the project attracted her “because it was a way we could do something for the soldiers in Iraq.”

Grace Berke, a fifth-grader and student council secretary, said there were two divisions in the Penny War campaign: first- and second-graders and third-, fourth- and fifth-graders.

Neveln's students were challenged to fill ice cream buckets with their donations.

“I really liked it,” Berke said of the campaign. “It was very competitive, too.”

Collin Bailey, another fifth-grader and president of the student council, said the idea of Krautbauer's was unanimously approved by the organization.

According to Krautbauer, the money raised will help the National VFW's Operation Uplink purchase some of the 6,000 phone cards sent to Minnesota soldiers serving in Iraq every 60 days.

“It was a good idea,” Bailey said.

Katey Tischer, a fourth-grader and second vice president, and Katie Price, another fourth-grader, who is also a second vice president, said each class at Neveln had their own buckets to fill. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the buckets were collected and the money was counted.

“We counted all the silver change and the dollars, which would take away points, because it was a Penny War, and then we counted the pennies, which were worth points,” Tischer said.

The results were tabulated to select those teams for prize consideration.

Of course, the student council members also contributed to the fund-raiser.

For instance, Price brought pennies and other coins donated by her parents and from her own piggy bank.

“It felt very good, because they can't just come back here and talk to their families and friends, so they can use calling cards to do that while they are in the war.”

My hat is off to these young people. Does your Post donate to Operation Uplink?
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 02:08:48 pm by Redmaxx 7546 »
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