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Local causes benefit from generosity of RHMS students

The $50 budget for this little girl was too small, so these shoppers financed the shopping list with their own money.  They were able to provide everything including a brand new bike, helmet, and bike pump.  “I am so impressed by the generosity of our students and this community!” said Explorer teacher Holly Spurlin.  (left to right) Olivia Magazu, Piper Melbye, and Brittany Harner

By Amy Shanahan, photo courtesy of Holly Spurlin

The 6th and 8th grade classes at Rocky Heights Middle School (RHMS) spent the months of November and December raising donations for many worthwhile causes.  The entire 6th grade came together as a team and collected donations for the children involved with the Colorado Coalition of the Homeless (CCH). CCH is a Denver based organization, which advocates for the homeless and provides help with housing and a variety of services.  CCH has an education facility, which dedicates itself to helping the children who are homeless, and the 6th grade class focused their efforts on these children.  They collected toiletry items, books, sports equipment, games, puzzles and art supplies, backpacks, winter coats and school supplies.  Teacher Dodi Treat remarked, “Our 6th graders and their families have such huge hearts and it was amazing to see their enthusiasm for this project.  We chose to help the children and families at CCH because we wanted to help people right here in our own community.”

The 8th grade classes held “Penny Wars”, and each grade level team gave their donations to a cause chosen by their team.  The Navigators raised $4,300 to give to Homes for Our Troops, an organization that builds specially adapted homes for post-9/11 war veterans. The money was given to aid in the building of a home for Nick Orchowski, an Iraq war veteran who resides in Parker. The students also addressed holiday cards and decorated candy canes that were delivered to veterans at the VA Hospital and to soldiers just returning home from deployment.

The Explorer team raised $3,480.00, which was used to provide Christmas gifts for families at another Douglas County school and for several other families from Volunteers of America’s, Adopt-A-Family program.  The students shopped for the gifts and wrapped them before delivering them to the recipients. Teacher Holly Spurlin remarked, “This community service project gave our students the chance to personally make a difference in the lives of others that have fallen on hard times.  They really connected with the difference they made!”

Finally, the Mountaineer team raised $2,210 for the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation.  This foundation is named in honor of a former RHMS student who died unexpectedly in her sleep at age 16, due to an epileptic seizure. “The students at RHMS on the Mountaineer Team should be very proud of what they have done. They have raised not only a great amount of money that will help a wonderful organization; but they also raised awareness within the community for SUDEP,” said math teacher Rick Johnson.  Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy, or SUDEP is an occurrence for those suffering from epilepsy.  The donation from the Mountaineers will aid in training dogs, who accompany epileptics, and can sense seizures before they occur.



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