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Students set ALAM fundraising record

Last Spring, not long after Hurricane Katrina, the students of Pearl River Central Upper Elementary School went door to door collecting donations to support lung health in Mississippi. Some of these students lived in FEMA trailers and had experienced devastation personally. None the less, they wanted to give something back to their community. And give back they did! Students raised $18,037.98, the largest amount raised by an upper or lower elementary school in the 30 year history of the American Lung Association SuperKids program. This was the very first year PRCUE had participated in the program. Combined with two other most southern Katrina-ravaged counties of the state, Harrison and Stone, over $51,000 was raised for the 2005-2006 SuperKids program.

To announce and commemorate this amazing achievement, a surprise SuperKids assembly program was planned for the PRCUE student body. The event was kept secret until the day of the program.

On Thursday, Oct. 26, Amy Ellis, American Lung Association Mississippi’s SuperKids coordinator, made the announcement through a PowerPoint presentation at the McNeill campus auditorium. The PRCUE “Top SuperKid”, Hannah Ingram and “Runner Up for Top SuperKid”, Paul Lee were both recognized for their efforts and presented funned certificates at the ceremony. Hannah had raised $337.00 for the ALAM . (American Lung Association of Mississippi), and Paul had raised $205.66.

Representative Mark Formby participated in the celebration and inspired the students with a story about a little boy who kept trying to save dying starfish on a beach. When the boy kept throwing them back into the water, his father told him he couldn’t save them all. The little boy picked up another starfish and threw it into the water.” No, I can’t save all of them,” said the little boy. “But I can save this one.” Rep. Formby told the students they were like the little boy in the story in their fundraising efforts. They were making a difference one person at a time. “You have proven yourselves to be the very ‘best of the best’ and truly ‘Super’ kids,” quipped Formby.

At the end of the ceremony, Representative Formby presented Principal Elaine Welsh with a plaque from the ALAM for being the top SuperKids school for the 20052006 school year and for setting a state fundraising record. Mrs. Welsh commended the students on their achievement of excellence and reminded them that without effort, it never would have been reached. She also announced that the school would be participating in the SuperKids program in the Spring and encouraged the students to “raise the bar even higher.”