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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Spiffed-up for a great cause

Thursday, February 22, 2007

MAMMOTH SPRING -- Students at Mammoth Spring Elementary School worked together for a good cause last week by raising over $1,200 for the kids at St. Jude.

"We didn't think our school did enough last year to help the patients at St. Jude, so our club came up with the idea of a fundraiser that would involve all the students at the school," said Bears Against Drugs (BAD) advisor Kim Ragsdale.

Ragsdale and BAD co-sponsor Rose McGowen came up with the idea to involve some faculty members in their fund raising efforts. The two lucky teachers chosen were girls basketball coach and physical education teacher Crystal Martin and agriculture instructor Denny Young.

"Both of these teachers are noted for coming to school dressed for their respective classes. Coach Martin in windsuit pants or jeans and of course tennis shoes. Denny works a lot in the ag shop with power tools so he always dresses in jeans and boots," Ragsdale said.

That was not the case Feb. 15, the day after the K-Kountry 95 Kountry Cares for Kids St. Jude Radiothon.

BAD club members asked students at the elementary school and high school to help them raise funds for the hospital and gave them a 24-hour time period to reach their goal.

"Our fundraiser was held Feb. 13, the day before the actual radiothon. Initially we set a goal of raising $500. If the students did this in one day, Mr. Young agreed to wear a suit and tie to school all day Feb. 15," Ragsdale said.

She said because this idea went over so well with the students, the BAD club decided to up the stakes a little. The club asked Coach Martin to come to school in a dress and heels if the students raised $1,000.

Both teachers agreed and said they would both go about their normal coaching and agriculture activities.

When all donations were counted the BAD organization had collected $1,215.56, $200 over the $1,000 needed to see two of their favorite teachers come to school dressed to the nines.

Both teachers lived up to their portion of the agreement. "It turned out to be the coldest school day of the year for Coach Martin to come to school in a dress and panty hose," Ragsdale said.

She said both teachers went to every class at the elementary school early Feb. 15 to make sure the younger students could see what their donations to the hospital resulted in. Ragsdale said the kids at both the elementary school and high school thought it was great.

"I changed into my tennis shoes before I went onto the gym floor. I have blisters on my heels from wearing the high heeled shoes. Besides that I'm making it pretty good," Coach Martin said.

Young said he also made it OK. "I have just been trying to stay away from the power tools. I'm afraid I'll get my tie caught in something," he said.

Both teachers said they are proud of the students at the school for being so generous to other children in need and that St. Jude is a great hospital.

"My ag students made a gun rack and a fishing pole rack that were sold during the recent district basketball tournament, with all the profits going to the fundraiser," Young said.

"All of my basketball players at the elementary school and high school made donations to the fundraiser," Coach Martin said.

The BAD club holds several activities during the school year to help promote anti-drinking and drug use in the community.

"We have done an activity called Project Life Saver. This is where club members are in the parking lot after school and stop students who have driven to school. If they have their seat belt on they receive a Life Saver candy. If they are not wearing their seat belt, they receive a Dum Dum sucker," Ragsdale said.

Another recent activity involved Mammoth Spring High School alumnus, Arkansas State Trooper Daniel Busch, who came to the school and spoke to students about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Ragsdale said the BAD club is made up of students in grades nine-12.

She said several local businesses were involved in the St Jude fundraiser and allowed the club to place donation cans in their businesses. Those businesses were Palace Drug Store, Fred's Fish House and Wood's River Bend Restaurant.

"We appreciate those businesses that helped us and a special thanks to R & R Industries who made a special contribution that helped us reach our goal," she said.

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