The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

May 16, 2013

Mike Pound: Community rallies to raise money for students

By all accounts, Zoey Bray is a reserved, quiet sort of kid.

The freshman at Sheldon High School is so reserved, in fact, that her mother suggested she join the school’s Future Business Leaders of America club. It turned out to be a good suggestion.

In April, Zoey competed in the FBLA’s Missouri Word Processing competition, which featured freshmen from across the state. That meant that Zoey, from tiny Sheldon, competed against students from some of the largest districts in the state.

Christy Lockard teaches at Sheldon High School and is the FBLA sponsor. She said that when contest officials began posting the final scores, Zoey grabbed her hand and said, “Oh, Mrs. Lockard, I don’t think I did very well.”

Christy said she told Zoey that as long as she did the best she could things would be fine. When names for the students who finished in 15th through 10th place were posted, and Zoey’s name was not among them, she got a strange look on her face, Christy said.

When the next five names were posted and Zoey’s name still wasn’t among them, she really began to get excited.

“By the time the fourth and third places were posted she was shaking,” Christy said.

Zoey, the quiet and reserved freshman, won the statewide competition, which also meant that she qualified to compete at the National FBLA Leadership Conference set for June 27-30 in Anaheim, Calif.

It’s a neat deal. Or it would be, if the school district had the money to send Zoey and schoolmates Melissa Handle and Bethany Spenser, who also are eligible to compete at the national meeting. Sadly, the money is not there. These are tough times for most school districts, but things are particularly tough for small, rural districts.

Christy said it will take $4,000 to send herself, Zoey, Melissa, Bethany and Zoey’s mother to the conference. Rather than sit around and hope $4,000 drops out of the sky, the kids and the community went to work in an effort to raise money.

Christy said someone donated a large amount of aluminum cans to be recycled for cash and students and residents set out collecting more. One night last week the folks at Chiggers Convenience Store in Sheldon offered to donate $2 for every pizza sold. All told, 102 pizzas were sold and $204 was raised.

“A lot of people who didn’t want to buy a pizza just donated $2,” Christy said.

On Tuesday, before the Sheldon junior high and high school awards banquet, Zoey, Melissa and Bethany —  along with fellow FBLA members, friends and supporters — will serve a baked potato and hot dog meal at the high school in an effort to raise even more money. Christy said there will also be opportunities to win a number of donated prizes. The meal gets under way at 4 p.m. and the event runs until 7 p.m.

For more information, or if you would like to make a donation, call the high school at 417-884-5111.

Mark your calendar

Speaking of fundraisers, a group of folks in Carthage have gotten together to raise money for Jackie Dawson, Suzie Lovette and Wanda Hodson. The Carthage women are all battling cancer.

Randa Bruenn, who is one of the people behind the effort to raise money for Jackie, Suzie and Wanda, said a benefit garage sale will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. today and from 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday. The garage sale will be held at Jim’s Place, 325 E. Fourth St., just off the east side of the Carthage Square.

Randa said the garage sale, which features a number of great donated items, will be held in the beer garden at Jim’s so those who don’t want to enter the bar can simply come through the gate to the garden.

Following the garage sale on Saturday, a benefit will get under way inside the bar. There will be music, plenty of food for purchase, and a number of chances to win items such as a La-Z-Boy recliner.

Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at mpound@joplinglobe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

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