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Panthers pull together

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Students at Piñon Elementary team with Hilltop House staff for fundraiser

By The Staff

The pride of the Piñon Panthers and the best of the Best Western Hilltop House staff will join together Friday to raise funds for disaster relief efforts in Haiti.

Local business owner Kim Selvage created the Piñon Panthers Sixth Grade Leadership team and was recently contacted by a member after the earthquake in Haiti. The student had discussed the situation with friends and wanted to do something to make a difference for the people of Haiti.

”She suggested doing a bake sale or anything to help raise money,” Selvage said. “I promised her that I would bring it up to the school and see if we could have a meeting at school during one of the recesses.”

Sixth-grade teacher Natalie Sinnis jumped in and offered the use of her classroom for the meeting and has encouraged all of her students to get involved in the process.

The decision was made to offer the opportunity for involvement to all sixth grade students at Piñon and during their meeting many good ideas began to flow.

One of the ideas they came up with will be on display this week, as they help support another local effort in making silent auction baskets for an event at the Hilltop House Friday night. The students are working on three baskets for the event revolving around three themes.

The Hilltop House will host the benefit from 5-7 p.m. Friday that will include appetizers, music and dancing along with the silent auction. The proceeds will be donated to Partners in Health for Haitian Quake Relief. The tickets for the event are $25 each and are available in advance and at the door.

Additional baskets or financial donations are welcome. Individuals may contact Denise at the Hilltop House by calling 662-2441.

“This group of students has such a big heart, the energy to make good things happen and the willingness to step out of their comfort zone to ensure success,” Selvage said. “I am so proud of each and every one of them.”

The students have also decided to donate their time around their neighborhoods by shoveling snow or performing other tasks in which they could collect additional monies to donate. The sixth-graders are also asking fellow Panthers to bring in their loose change for the money jar located in the school office.

These tech-savvy titans have even embarked on a Web site to help keep the information about the Piñon relief efforts available on a continuous basis. Visit the group to keep up on their work or contribute by visiting, www.pinonhelp.blogspot.com.

“I was impressed by the language used and the initiative of our sixth grade group,” Principal Megan Lee said. “They are very compassionate and generous groups, who have helped our school this year in many ways.”