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Wind River kids unite in fund drive to help Dubois

Apr 3, 2016 By Christina George, Staff Writer

Shortly after a fire ripped through the heart of downtown Dubois destroying several business buildings in the local mountain town, a group of students in a neighboring municipality decided to extend a helping hand.

For more than six years, Fremont County School District 6 has organized regular service weeks during which students raise funds for a cause chosen by the youth.

Students chose the December 2014 fire in Dubois as their 2015 project. They raised $7,482.58, which was recently accepted by the Dubois Town Council.

"The construction of the new buildings to replace those lost in the tragic fire of Dec. 30, 2014, will begin soon," Dubois Mayor Twila Blakeman wrote to the Wind River students.

"The funds raised and generously donated will be utilized in some way to aid in the restoration efforts."

Since the program's inception, Pavillion students have raised about $52,200 for various local efforts. The causes have ranged from cancer awareness to military service, with each of those fundraisers generating about $10,000.

One year, students rallied around Help for Heath Hospice and were able to donate $9,400 to the nonprofit organization.

The following year, they gave 3,500 hours of community service and $3,800 to help a fellow student.

For this year's service week, held in February, students set a goal to raise $10,000 to help offset medical costs for a Wind River High School student who has had several brain surgeries in order to stop a debilitating seizure disorder. They were able to raise $11,100.

FCSD 6 superintendent Diana Clapp said funds raised in previous years have helped a custodian with a brain tumor and paid for scholarships for siblings of a student killed by a school bus.

"The money is raised in one week's time, and they do a whole run at it full speed," Clapp said. "Almost every day of the week they have something going on - raffles, silent auctions at ball games. They play music in the hallway and you have to pay to get them to stop. It's just fun, and they work so hard."

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