Wind River students give to military families

Feb 6, 2012 By Christina George Staff Writer

Students at Wind River schools pledged an entire week of fundraising in an effort to raise money to assist Pavillion-area servicemen and women and their families.

Fremont County School District 6 athletic director Justin Walker said the week's activities comes down to the district and Pavillion community coming together.

"Last year, we did a cancer week, and we raised $10,000 for two local families affected by cancer," Walker said. "This year, we changed it to a military week to thank the individuals, including police, firefighters, military and ambulance."

As of Wednesday, the district had collected more than $2,000.

This year's goal is to raise enough money to sponsor two families to go the Chance Phelps Foundation in Dubois. It was founded for PFC. Chance Phelps, 19, of Dubois, who was killed in action in April 2004 in Iraq. The foundation hosts special events such as weeklong mountain camps.

"They will get to experience horseback riding and fishing," Walker said. "The rest of the money will be broken up into scholarships to be given to service families in our area."

The fundraising started Jan. 31 with a dodge ball tournament.

"We also play annoying music throughout the day (at the school) and the song is on repeat," he said. "The song is 'I Whip my Hair Back and Forth.' It's pretty annoying."

To get the music turned off, a certain amount of money had to be collected for that day. It started with $25 Monday and increased in $25 increments each day through Thursday when it was $100.

"On Monday, it took them until about 1 p.m., Tuesday it was shut off by 11:45 a.m. and today it was turned off by 10:15 a.m.," Walker said.

Buckets were set outside of six teachers' classrooms to collect money. Walker said the teacher who raised the most money had to switch personalities with the teacher who raised the least for an entire day. He noted this has been comical because it was set up men versus women, and the individuals have had to take on opposite-sex behaviors.

There was also a date auction for five students at the high school level.

"We will set the dates up for the students and provide them with an evening of fun and enjoyment," Walker said.

Fundraising rounded out with a silent auction last Friday during the high school boys and girls basketball games at Pavillion. Walker said several items would be auctioned off, including a few that have been custom-made.

Walker said businesses have also donated to the cause.

"Every little bit helps," he said.

The week of fundraising is also a learning experience for students. On Wednesday, a fire truck, ambulance bus and personnel from various agencies, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Wyoming National Guard, visited the elementary school. There was also a visit from a drug dog.

"Students learned about each department, and what they are currently doing inside our community," Walker said.

Students created artwork and thank you letters to be added to packages that will be sent to servicemen and women serving overseas.

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