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Middle school students donate to sick kids

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Carroll Middle School students donated nearly $470 and several boxes of toys last week to Hailey’s Toys for Healing, a program at St. Anthony Regional Hospital that benefits child patients and is named for a 10-year-old Carroll girl who died last year from a rare lung disorder.

“It really means a lot to us to keep Hailey’s memory going,” the girl’s mother, Jannelle Satterwhite, said last week at the school’s Homecoming assembly. “Thank you so much.”

Teacher Kaitlynn Kaufman led the toy drive at the middle school and started a so-called “Penny War” among the four grades to raise the money. Here’s how it worked:

Each grade competed to raise the most money. Pennies and dollars counted positively toward their totals and nickels, dimes and quarters counted against. That means students could counteract the donations of other grades by filling those grades’ buckets with silver coins.

Fifth grade won, and their reward was six pies — one for each homeroom — and the choices of which school staff members received them in the face.

Poor Linsey Pick, a fifth-grade teacher, was selected by three different homerooms and took three cream pies to the face.

Rachel Menken, a seventh-grade teacher, got two pies, delivered by her daughter Ava.

And Principal Jerry Raymond escaped with just one pie.

Kaufman said she was inspired to donate to Hailey’s Toys for Healing after one of her children spent many days in an Omaha hospital.

“She couldn’t do much of anything, and things she wanted (toys or Legos) were two hours away at home,” Kaufman said in an email. “Every time she had to take medicine, or get another shot, or someone had to come in and mess with her chest tube, she was told that if she was brave and did a good job she could pick something out of the ‘treasure box.’ This helped pass the time and gave her some things to look forward to on her good days.”

Hailey Satterwhite spent much of her childhood in hospitals for a variety of health problems until she was finally diagnosed with dyskeratosis congenita, a rare and incurable genetic condition, about a year before she died.

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