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Students raise funds for tsunami victims

By By MARY-ALLISON LANCASTER Managing editor
Fundraising for the tsunami relief fund has become local. As a part of the massive fundraising efforts for the tsunami relief fund, children from Kathy Weaver's third grade class spent a month raising money and presented a check to the American Red Cross last week.
Third grader Abbi Roberts presented the idea of helping disaster victims to her classmates. With the help of the rest of the class, they came up with a few ideas which included praying, raising money, bringing money or doing some type of fundraiser.
With boys competing against the girls, two jars were lined up and children would drop change in the jars each day. For a month, the boys and girls competed against each other At the end of the competition, the boys "won" the competition when their jar became half full.
Fellow classmate, Zack Griffin echoed his friend's sentiments.
On March 2, the children and their teacher gathered near the administration office to present a check to the American Red Cross for $187.87. Rogene Martin, executive director for the East Escambia County American Red Cross, arrived with her camera to receive the makeshift check.
Students from T.R. Miller High School also raised $1,681 for the relief efforts. Sharon Peacock selected students from each grade to help raise money by selling tiger paws to other students and residents.
After the Christmas holidays, students from W.S. Neal Middle School were challenged to raise money for the tsunami relief fund.
The challenge was for the students to bring in a dollar for each of the 480 students in order to raise $500. Instead, they went over their dollar mark and raised $1,025 in which they donated to the Red Cross, as well. National aid continues to pour in.
Every eight minutes, the American Red Cross helps someone devastated by a disaster.
On Dec. 26, a massive tsunami hit the coasts of the Indian Ocean. On Saturday, it will be exactly two months since the disaster. As of late January, the Red Cross announced that more than $1.2 billion has been given or pledged by donors, making is sufficient to meet the costs of the entire Red Cross tsunami relief program.
More donations are accepted at the local American Red Cross, not just for tsunami relief, but for other funds too, Martin said.
Martin said the local chapters were accepting checks for various charities such as the American Disaster Relief Fund, troops overseas and many more.
Donations may be made to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 252, Brewton, Ala. 36427.