Flat Rock Elementary School students celebrated Tuesday with a successful fundraiser to aid Hurricane Sandy victims with a turkey trot dance.
Flat Rock Principal Molly Anderson and student council sponsor Karen Hoosier explained students wanted to do something to help the victims of the super storm. They figured they could really whip up some enthusiasm for donations by promising to dance a dance known as the “wobble” which is popular with students.
Student council leader and physical education teacher Sue Johnson helped make the challenge seasonal by getting Anderson to promise to dress up in a turkey costume and Assistant Principal Luanne Llewellyn to dress up as a pilgrim.
Students raised $750 and Anderson obliged by winging it in the outfit while Llewellyn donned pilgrim garb.
“Dance also promotes fitness. We thought this would be a great way to get them interested and teach them about being good citizens,” recalled Anderson. “So here I am. The students understand they are here to have a good time with this but they know it is also to help people. We didn’t ask for a specific amount for a donation to participate in the dancing. I’m proud we raised this with less than 350 students in the school.”
Anderson said one student came to her and emptied her piggy bank to give to the cause. Anderson said the third grade class of teacher Shannon Parker had been saving spare change for a class celebration but voted to give all they had saved to help Sandy’s victims.
The school chose to give the money to the American Red Cross. chairman of the Surry County Chapter of the Red Cross, Richard Seaver, was on hand to accept the check from student council president Michelle Ramos and vice president Tahtiyana Mason Monday afternoon.
“Every dollar donated can go straight to the relief efforts,” said Seaver. “Anything earmarked for this disaster goes directly to help it. It is set aside especially for this.”
Seaver said the Red Cross is still actively involved in providing meals, clothing and medication for victims. He said the Red Cross works with different groups in recovery efforts including The Salvation Army.
“We call it partnering with everyone,” explained Seaver. “We coordinate our efforts with other partners including law enforcement and the National Guard. It is so important to be on the same page. We get in as soon as we can and as quick as we can.”
He added many areas hit by Sandy were still unreachable as late as last week. Red Cross Emergency Services Specialist Tom Dunn said as of last Thursday there were 300 Red Cross feeding trucks active in the area. He said the group supplies nurses, mental health counselors and also hands out cleaning materials to victims.
Dunn said the Red Cross also has case workers who work to help victims process claims forms and with faith-based groups to coordinate relief efforts. He said there are more than 5,700 Red Cross workers supporting shelters in hurricane stricken areas. Dunn said 90 percent of these are volunteers which is one way the group keeps its expenses low to maximize the amount of aid to victims.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.