School sets national fundraising record

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Special to the Reporter

Many deserving children in Central Alabama will have presents under their trees this year thanks to a record setting $37,335 raised by Oak Mountain Middle School students.

According to Cindy Warner, pubic relations supervisor for the school system, the money is part of the school’s annual Toys for Tots campaign, which has raised more than $126,000 since 1999.

This year’s donation far surpasses last year’s total of $25,846, she said.

Principal Larry Haynes said the school set a goal of $20,000 this year due to previous fundraising efforts to benefit Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

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.

&8220;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,&8221; Grein said.

&8220;If we had more schools like Oak Mountain Middle School, my job would be easy.&8221;

According to Warner, the Oak Mountain Toys for Tots project is lead by the National Jr. Honor Society.

On December 19, the National Jr. Honor Society students will spend the money on new toys at the Brook Highland Wal-Mart, 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 budgeted amount to spend.

The teams use their math skills in order to keep a running tally on how much money they have spent.

The United States Marine Corps, who sponsors Toys for Tots, will attend the school’s Christmas Assembly on December 20 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