In February, a group of Lingle-Ft. Laramie Schools Student Council representatives visited the Governor's Residence where they shared their goal of raising $500 to pay off some school lunch debt in their community. We responded by challenging them to raise $5,000 and Wyoming Hunger Initiative would match it. Little did we know that by the end of the school year, this community (population 400) would not only raise the amount of money necessary to meet their goal but that they would surpass it.
Through innovative fundraising and community support, it was announced earlier this month that over $11,000 was raised for "Dogger Dollars" to include the $5,000 match from Wyoming Hunger Initiative. To mark the occasion, I visited the Lingle-Ft. Laramie Schools on May 9th where we kicked off the celebration with a pretzel party. Every student in kindergarten through twelfth grade received a free pretzel prior to gathering in the gymnasium for an all-school assembly.
Student Council Vice President Louden Bremer addressed his peers to explain his initial ideas for the project. Together, with his fellow Student Council members, they felt a jolt after visiting the Wyoming Governor's Residence in February and "got to work." "I felt a wave of humility to be a part of something so much bigger than I imagined" stated Bremer. He went on to describe how he and his team raised money through making dinner for parent teacher conferences, selling pretzels and Italian sodas, and holding fundraisers at winter sports games. Although each event brought in significant donations, he noted that the bulk of the donations came in from community members who heard about their story, related to the cause, and simply did not want to see anyone at Lingle-Ft. Laramie go hungry.
Lingle-Ft. Laramie Student Council kept track of the dollars that they were raising and showcased their progress in the form of a bulletin board visible to anyone walking down the hallway.
"Bremer went on to state "I am not sure if enough gratitude can be expressed from myself or the council. Not only thank you from me, but from each individual on our council, and from every elementary, middle, and high school student attending Lingle-Ft. Laramie."
Gratitude was also expressed by multiple members of the Student Council for their advisor Mrs. Estes who encouraged them and was beside them every step of the way.
We are so inspired by the commitment of these students to eliminate school lunch debt while also raising enough to make a donation to their local weekend backpack program, the after school program, and to potentially help off set the cost of lunches on Friday next year.
Together, we can do more!
Photo credit: Cynthia Sheeley, Lingle Guide.