Dayton school raises money for students in need |

Dayton school raises money for students in need

by Karel Ancona-Henry
Appeal Staff Writer

Dayton Intermediate School students and staff came through for St. Nick during a last-minute collection during the last period of the day, Thursday.

“We had fallen short on our candy cane sales and Mr. (Neal) Freitas, (principal), suggested we pass the hat,” said Dusti Houk, teacher and student council co-adviser with teacher Anne Jolly.

An announcement was made, student body executive board members visited each class with Santa bags and returned $200 richer. It is money that will be spent providing Dayton’s middle and high school students with gift cards and clothing.

“I didn’t expect much to come of (the collection),” Houk said, “This tells us a lot about our kids. They’re awesome.”

The school’s student council hosts several fundraisers each year. The candy cane candy grams, where for $1 students could sent a cane and message to another, raised $215.

Additional donations came in Thursday and Friday. Among them, $100 anonymously, $100 from Freitas, and $40 from Linda Flaugherty, assistant principal. Total to spend was estimated at slightly more than $900 to be split evenly between gift cards and badly needed clothing, Houk said.

“We do this every year and there was a bigger concern that we focus on the little ones, but older kids need things, too,” said Samantha Gillenwater, 13, student council president. “There are gonna be a lot of kids who are going to be very happy.”

The students shopped Friday at Wal-Mart for sweatshirts and pants, shirts and gift cards.

They delivered their goods to Riverview Elementary School Friday night for distribution Saturday morning.

“We raised a lot of money and we’re going to be able to help out our community,” Gillenwater said. “We have a great group of kids and I’m happy they’ve helped. (The student council) really appreciates them pitching in.

“We couldn’t have done it alone.”

• Karel Ancona-Henry can be reached at or at 246-4000.