Students raise money for Joplin

By Courtney Minter

Promoting the group Jaguars for Joplin, freshmen Hannah Hilton and Emma Uridge collect donations for Joplin High School.

Alyne Roemerman, copy editor

After a tornado leveled Joplin, Mo., on Sunday, May 22, countless people throughout Kansas and Missouri made efforts to help those affected by the tornado through collecting donations, assisting with the cleanup and rebuilding. Mill Valley High School is no exception, with students and staff doing their part to specifically help Joplin High School students.

Newly formed club Jags for Joplin is fundraising for JHS students affected by the tornado with the hope to reach its goal of $5,000.

The club is raising money through t-shirt and bracelet sales at home football games. T-shirts sell for $10 and bracelets for $3, or $5 for two. One of the club’s leaders, senior Laura Blaine, is optimistic about the club’s fundraisers.

“It’s a good way to raise money,” Blaine said. “I mean, who doesn’t want a t-shirt?”

They also held other fundraising events through local businesses such as Yogurtopia and a bake sale at school. The bake sale held by the club during Homecoming week between Monday, Oct.3-Thursday, Oct. 6 raised an estimated $180 for Joplin. Overall, the club has raised approximately $2,000.

Jags for Joplin began with freshman parent Stephanie Hilton. Hilton originally began the club with the intention of connecting freshmen students between MVHS and JHS. Making the connection between students is a goal Jags for Joplin is still working towards. At a meeting held on Thursday, Oct. 13, Blaine mentioned the possibility of visiting Joplin in person to meet the students.

Blaine, along with seniors Kelli Rutherford, Courtney Minter and Kristyn Harding, began participating in the club after community service teacher Cory Wurtz suggested it as a project for their community service class. However, since becoming involved, the seniors have been leading the club.

“I think it’s been very successful,” Hilton said. “We’re really proud of everyone that’s been involved and the seniors…taking a leadership role.”

Since leadership has shifted from Hilton to the senior girls, the club is now open to students from all grade levels. The club holds meetings on Thursday mornings at 7:20 a.m. in room A208 to plan future fundraisers such as a Pizza West event on Thursday, Oct. 20. Members will be busing tables from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and 20 percent of all sales will be donated to Jags for Joplin.

Donations given at the choral department’s fall concert will be sent to help JHS rebuild its choir library. The concert held on Monday, Oct. 3, raised approximately $350.

Vocal music teacher Sheree Stoppel was inspired to donate money to JHS based on one of the jazz songs performed in the concert, “Route 66.”

“We decided that it would be neat since it mentions Joplin that we would raise money for their choir library,” Stoppel said.

She said the little theater, which can seat 300 people, had standing room only during the concert. The money raised, according to her, should buy five titles, or pieces, of music, with enough for each choir member to have a copy, according to Stoppel.

“It would be something I would appreciate if something happened like that,” Stoppel said.

The idea to donate to Joplin met with support by the various choirs participating in the concert, including treble choir, mixed choir, concert choir women, Jag chorale, girls ensemble and mixed ensemble.

“Joplin lost a lot of their music in the tornado…it was really helpful,” senior choir member Amy Shook said. “All the choirs were really excited…I thought it was a great idea.”

Stoppel felt collecting donations for JHS was a logical way to include charity in the fall concert.

“These are very giving students here,” Stoppel said. “When I explained what I wanted to do…it just made sense…I just try to find something that makes sense and that we can relate to.”

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