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Students raise $1,317.20 for toys

December 23, 2008|By MARLO BARNHART

BOONSBORO -- With an ambitious goal of raising $500 to help the Marine Corps League's Toys for Tots this holiday season, the eight students in the National Junior Honor Society at Boonsboro Middle School surprised everyone with their results.

Even themselves.

"The final figure was $1,317.20," said Sherry Spithaler, eighth-grade science teacher and honor society adviser. "I am so very proud of them."

Dan Shifflett, an instructional assistant, said the students accomplished the feat in just four days, soliciting donations from students and others.

"I talked to all five lunch shifts, asking the students to raise their hands if they expected to get 10 toys or five toys or at least one toy this Christmas," Shifflett said.

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He then told the students that many children would not be able to raise their hands even for the one toy at Christmas. And that did it, Shifflett said.

As an additional incentive, Shifflett -- who describes himself as bald by choice -- vowed to grow a mohawk by the end of the school year if the students raised at least $500.

"I will bleach it and color it, too," Shifflett said. "It's visible ... a sense of pride for them."

Spithaler said the members of the National Junior Honor Society are responsible for a spring and fall community service project each year. They chose Toys for Tots as their fall effort.

She said they had no traditional fundraisers, such as bake sales or car washes, so all the money was in the form of donations.

The money was presented to Wayne Gross, Toys for Tots coordinator in Washington County. He said he was amazed at the amount of money raised.

Principal Paul Engle said he was pleased with the efforts of the students.

The funds for Toys for Tots are used to purchase toys for children who might not have any presents under the tree at Christmas.

Those and other donated toys were distributed Monday by The Salvation Army at the former McCrory's store in the Long Meadow Shopping Center.

This year, more than 2,220 children were signed up at The Salvation Army to receive toys, 337 more than last year.

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