A tasty good cause at JELC

Pauls Valley kindergartners Kataleya Mejia (right) finished in first and Reid Jones in second for a kettle corn sales campaign raising money for cancer research. (PV Democrat photo)

It may have been called different names over the years, but Pauls Valley school children were busy this week wrapping up efforts to raise money for cancer research.

Some refer to it as “pink out” or “win-win” as this year it's “coaches vs. cancer” for a campaign that each fall gives local schools the choice of fundraisers meant to help out a good cause, in this case the American Cancer Society.

In recent years the effort has been so successful it's earned PV schools some honors on the state level.

At Jefferson Early Learning Center this year's idea for Pre-K and kindergarten kids, along with their parents, came from school employee Brandi Leveridge.

She and her family have also had the Kettle Popstars business in nearby Wayne for the last couple of years. The business sells kettle popcorn described by Leveridge as “sweet and salty.”

“My father died of cancer so it's an honor to do this. Each school could come up with an idea for a fundraiser, so I said let's do our kettle corn,” Leveridge said.

“We had just come off our big school fundraiser, so I didn't think it would go very good. I was very surprised how well it did.”

She's referring to the JELC campaign raising more than $3,800 in two weeks worth of kettle corn sales.

Recognized this week as the top individual sellers were kindergartners Kataleya Mejia in first place and Reid Jones in second. As a group selling the most kettle corn was Jennifer Grounds' class, which earns students an ice cream party.

“It's a great community pull-together, especially since so many have been touched by cancer,” JELC Principal Kristi Herd said.

“The kids sold to family and friends. We had a lot of parent participation. The parents and kids were both excited about this. Our kids, they were so excited to do this. They don't why they were excited but they were.

“I'm amazed how much they sold.”

Jill Foster has the past few years headed up the local schools' efforts to raise money for this campaign.

“We've won two state titles for raising the most money for this,” Foster said. “There lots of schools involved in this.”

She says at the high school the fundraiser came from student Spirit Games and selling a variety of items at lunch.

“With the band weather we'll extend it through next week. After the powder puff game we'll total the money and make a donation to the American Cancer Society,” she said, adding the game is expected to be moved to next Monday night, Nov. 4.

At Jackson Elementary the effort was called the “Change” War, as loose change was collected by students and different classes.

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