By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News
DANVILLE — Students and faculty at Danville Middle School are celebrating their return to their building with a fundraiser to help adults and children with disabilities.
During the middle school’s open house on Sept. 26, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., the school will hold a bake sale and gift basket raffle, all of the proceeds of which will go towards the “Ryan’s Run” fundraiser, which supports Allied Services.
“Ryan’s Run” is hosted by WNEP broadcaster Ryan Leckey, who runs the New York City marathon every year in support of Allied Services. Every year, he challenges regional school districts to also raise money for Allied Services and visits the winning school for a live segment with his news crew.
Students are contributing funds via a charity dodge ball tournament and dance held the day of Sept. 26. Participation in each event is $5 per student.
The fundraiser was organized by a group of faculty members after WNEP started sending out notices during the summer. “We all decided as a team to work together and pull it off,” said Christen Mishura, a middle school guidance counselor.
“We’re welcoming any community members who are curious what’s being done at the middle school” since it re-opened this school year, she said.
Local stores have pitched in to help fill more than 25 gift baskets to be raffled off during the fundraiser.
“They have really done a lot and donated a lot of awesome items,” Mishura said.
“We’ve had a very great response and they’ve given very generously,” added Sarah Ryan, another guidance counselor who is also helping organize the school’s Ryan’s Run fundraiser.
Other faculty that assisted in organizing the fundraiser include reading specialist Ann Marie Cantore, physical education teacher Marcie Kitka, seventh-grade science teacher Roberta Coulter and seventh-grade language arts teacher Joy Smith.
Stores that donated items to the raffle include, but are not limited to, Cole’s Hardware, Scott’s Floral, Chef Willies Creamery, Steve Shannon Tire and Auto Center, Whadda Pizza, The English Garden, LT Evans and FNB Bank.
Ticket prices for the raffle are $1 for one ticket, $5 for seven tickets, $10 for 15 tickets and $20 for 40 tickets.
Tickets can be placed on raffle items ahead of time. The winner will not be drawn the night of the open house, to give everyone a chance to put in a ticket who wants to during the night, Mishura said.
The open house’s bake sale will be conducted by the middle school’s home and school association. “They’re helping a great deal with that,” Ryan said.
Mishura hopes that Danville will win the fundraising contest so that WNEP viewers can see how the middle school has bounced back since being closed for the 2011-2012 school year due to flood damage.
“It would be awesome to win and broadcast live from our brand new middle school that we’re excited to be back in,” Mishura said.
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