Local kids aid terrorist victims

It took a wheelbarrel to bring in the 77,356 pennies.

That’s $773.56 in copper that was added to other change and bills to bring the total students collected for the Pennies from Heaven change drive to $2,153.66.

Tana Schulte is one of the student who helped to fill a wheelbarrel full of change students in town collected to help victims of the Sept. 11 attack on America. The Pennies from Heaven change drive raised $2,153.66, which was donated to the American Red Cross on Oct. 2. Cheryl Blume, executive director of the northern Arizona district of the ARC, accepted the donation.

Williams Elementary/Middle School kids started collecting change after the Sept.11 terrorist attacks on America and presented it to the American Red Cross (ARC) on Oct. 2.

“This is so inspiring,” said Cheryl Blume, executive director of the northern Arizona district of the ARC, who accepted the donation. “We hear so many sad stories — this is one to help us through those bad times.

“We know we are going to make it when we see something like this.”

The money will be used to help victims of the attacks on America and is designated for the ARC Disaster Relief Fund. Empowering local youth by giving them the opportunity to help was one of the goals of the change drive.

“It’s so important to teach kids when they’re young, to help them know they can make a difference,” said Eileen Eavis, Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) member.

Randi Parenteau, Tracy Wygal and Eavis were the PTO members who initiated the fund-raiser.

“For little kids to go out and raise that type of money — we’re really proud of them,” said Leisa Watkins, president of the PTO. “It shows we’re teaching our children right because they did it so selflessly — there were no rewards.”

The Builder’s Club, a youth branch of the Williams Kiwanis Club, also donated $280.80 to the cause along with local businesses who contributed $400.

WHS gets involved

“We are holding a ‘Stop the Class for New York City’ fund-raiser,” said Kristi Fredrickson, math teacher at Williams High School and student council advisor.

There are two incentives for students to bring in donations during the Oct. 16-17 event, said Fredrickson.

“On the second day, the teachers will not start class until all the money is rolled,” she said. “And whichever class raises the most money will get a pizza party.”

Businesses or residents interested in helping out can contact any student council member or Fredrickson at WHS to make a donation. All the money will be designated for the ARC Disaster Relief Fund.

“This terrible tragedy has touched all of us in a permanent way,” said Bernadine Healy, president and chief execute officer of the American Red Cross. “America has been changed forever, but our sturdy foundations are unchanged.

“In the midst of the overpowering grief that envelops us all, the sadness, the loss we feel — there is strength, and there is unity.”

A number of local businesses are collecting funds to benefit victims.

• McDonalds is giving all of its collection jar funds donated at drive-thru windows and containers at the counter through Oct. 12, to the Red Cross. The funds are usually designated towards the Ronald McDonald House Fund.

• National Bank of Arizona, with 47 locations, is conducted a statewide fund-raiser that will benefit the ARC Disaster Relief Fund. The account number is 0060038131.

• The Stockmen’s Bank, who is partnering with the Chino Valley branch, has a relief fund established and has already raised more than $10,000. The account number is 7050060446.

• Holiday Inn has a collection box in its lobby for donations, with all the proceeds going to the relief fund at Stockmen’s Bank.

• The Williams-Grand Canyon News and its parent company Western Newspapers Inc., have set up a collection in conjunction with the Salvation Army. For every dollar collected by the News, WNI will match it two to one.

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