Chelsea students lead fundraisers

Chelsea Intermediate School students, along with two friends, washed cars to benefit tornado victims. (L-R) Bailey Founds, 11, Madeline Guillen, 12, Emma Bunyard, 11, Claire Guillen, 10, and Taylor Bunyard, 13. (Contributed)

By SHELBA NIVENS / Community Columnist

Students at Chelsea schools have been busy working at projects to raise funds for victims of the April tornadoes that swept through our state.

“People lost everything,” said Intermediate School student Emma Harvey. “They were injured and killed. We were so lucky the storms missed us, and we want to help people who were in them.”

Harvey, Madison O’Connell, Claire Guillen, Bailey Founds and Emma Bunyard set up lemonade stands called “Lemon Aid” stands, since they were for the purpose of giving aid.

Harvey, O’Connell, Harvey’s sister and a friend, made a little over $200.

“I’ve done funraisers before,” Harvey said. “One of my keys to getting money for charities is to not set a price, but let people give donations.”

They take in more money this way, she said.

Bailey Founds, Emma Bunyard and Claire Guillen also washed cars, along with middle-schoolers Taylor Bunyard and Madeline Guillen.

“One man gave us $100 for washing his car,” Claire said.

This group collected $200, plus $200 when Emma Bunyard’s father, as promised, doubled what they made.

Chloe Reiss, Gracie Minor, Maddie O’Neal and Kaitlyn Marshall also washed cars.

Principal Dr. Resia Brooks said the projects were initiated by the girls. “I was very moved by their conscious effort and how intentional they were to help.”

She and School Counselor Cynthia Smith called the girls together for photos and to commend them on their work and caring attitude.

Dr. Brooks told them that this is good citizenship and urged them to continue being good citizens.

“These girls are little, and people think we can’t make a difference,” O’Neal said. “But we can. Every dollar counts.”

Other fundraising projects at the intermediate school included “Coins that Count” drive where a large jar was filled with coins and bills.

“I was touched when I saw a boy put a $10 bill in the jug,” one girl said.

Several large, plastic bins filled with personal hygiene items were presented to Pleasant Grove during a May 20 football game at Chelsea High between Chelsea Hornets and Pleasant Grove Spartans, along with donations from the Chelsea community and game proceeds.

High school students also rallied behind communities struck by the tornados Chelsea High teacher Jana Watts said. Varsity cheerleaders, Peer Helpers, National Honor Society, FBLA and others raised money, donated items and helped with cleanup.

“It’s been exciting.” said fifth-grader O’Neal. “I’m glad we put all our efforts together.”

Shelba Nivens can be reached by email at Shelbasn@juno.com.