Area students excel in fund-raising
An idea that started on an elementary school playground has blossomed into something that will have a positive effect on the families of those who were killed or injured in the World Trade Center attack on Sept. 11.
On Thursday, Sept. 13, three fifth-grade students from Basehor Elementary School were at recess when they decided to start a schoolwide fund-raiser for the families of the fallen service workers in New York.
It was a decision that came after the students saw the terrible tragedy unfold on television."
"We thought it was really bad and we needed to help the people in some way," BES student Allison Hatfield said.
The fund-raiser, which has generated more than $1,000, was named Pennies for People by the students. The total has not only shocked the administration at BES, but also the students who organized the event.
"I am shocked and very surprised," BES student Bekha Magaha said. "I didn't think it would be that much."
The donations will be sent to benefit the families of the numerous firefighters, police and emergency medical units who were killed or injured in the attacks.
The donations for the fund-raiser have come from the pennies, nickels and dimes of students, and cash and checks from parents of students at the school.
While the majority of the funds have come from the parents, one of the organizers said it was good to see her classmates get involved in the fund-raiser.
"We have seen a lot of kids pouring their pennies into the jar," BES student Kayla Hales said. Hales also came up with the title for the fund-raiser.
On Friday, Sept. 21, the school will tally all the funds from the donations and send it to an organization involved with the relief effort. Students hope the money will help ease the burden of those who have lost someone in the horrendous attack.
While the students at BES have put together a successful fund-raiser, several other local agencies have participated in some way toward helping the victims of the attack.
On Friday, Sept. 14 as part of National Mourning Day several employees and Basehor city officials attended a moment of prayer before a luncheon at Basehor City Hall.
The prayer was a voluntary event and led by Basehor Mayor Bill Hooker.
"Through our prayer this great country will master the enemy," Hooker said while ending the prayer.
Hooker said he was astonished by the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., but was confident that the government would go on as normal in Basehor as well as the rest of the country.
"I never would have dreamed it would have happened in our own country," Hooker said. "The events this week have showed that we can carry on through it."
Although an annual blood drive at Basehor-Linwood High School had been planned before the attacks, the amount of donors that showed up Sept. 17 was a direct result of the horrors witnessed in New York and Washington.
"I have seen more people here than any other blood drive before," BLHS secretary Joyce McMillan said. "There are people backed up waiting in line."
There also was a memorial service Wednesday, Sept. 19, at Basehor-Linwood High School for residents who wanted to pay their respects to the victims of the attack.