Oak Mountain Middle sets record

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 7, 2004

Many deserving children in Central Alabama will have presents under their trees this year thanks to a record-setting $25,846 raised by Oak Mountain Middle School students.

According to Cindy Warner, public relations supervisor for Shelby County Schools, the money is part of the school’s annual Toys for Tots campaign, which has raised more than $88,846 since 1999.

This year’s donation far surpasses last year’s total of $20,000.

Bill Grein, national vice president of the Toys for Tots Foundation, said Oak Mountain Middle School’s donation set a record for the largest school donation ever raised in the United States.

&uot;In my 19 plus years with the Toys for Tots organization, I am not aware of any other school donation that even comes close to what Oak Mountain Middle School has done.

Those students are certainly to be commended for this incredible effort,&uot; Grein said.

The Oak Mountain Toys for Tots project is lead by the National Junior Honor Society.

On Dec. 16, about 80 students will spend the money on new toys at the Brook Highland WalMart, combining their shopping and math skills to benefit children in need.

Students are split into teams and the money is divided so that each team has a certain amount to spend. The teams use their math skills to keep a running tally on how much they have spent.

The United States Marine Corps which sponsors Toys for Tots will attend the school’s Christmas Assembly on Dec. 17 to pick up the toys.

In years past, the Marines have brought three or four large cargo transport trucks in order to load the enormous mountain of toys.

&uot;It is really overwhelming,&uot; said first-year OMMS Principal Larry Haynes.

&uot;It amazed me to see how hard the students and teachers worked together to raise the money. And it wasn’t just one group of students putting forth all of the effort.

&uot;This was really a collective effort by all the student body and faculty.