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Fund-raisers help classmate get new heart

When Becky Carlson needed a heart transplant, her family incurred thousands of dollars in medical bills.

To help their classmate, SkillsUSA members at St. Charles (Ill.) High School sprang into action with a walk-a-thon and a bowl-a-thon.

They also participated in an eat-a-thon on Paczki Day. Student/teacher pairs from six high schools ate paczkis, a type of jelly doughnut. A St. Charles High student contestant won the second-place $250 prize. His teacher/partner won a $25 gift certificate, which he likewise donated.

Second-graders at Western Avenue Elementary School in Geneva, Ill., where the heart donor’s nieces attend, held a read-a-thon, earning a penny for every minute they read books. Other fund-raisers included spare-change jars at local businesses and helping the Rotary International with an auction and raffle.

At an appreciation banquet, SkillsUSA members presented the Carlsons with a check for $5,151.71. The best part? Becky’s back at school and doing fine. end of story

Computers for cash

When a local BlueCross BlueShield office upgraded computers, the old ones were donated to the PC projects class at Kansas City, Kan., Area Technical Center. Students fixed the monitors, keyboards and mice, then sold them for $50 each.

“I thought I’d have them for months, but we sold every one of them in four days!” says instructor Doug Urie. end of story

Street rod revs up publicity for four schools

One man’s junker has become the prized ride for 30 students at four Rochester, Minn., high schools.

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty poses with SkillsUSA street-rod builders (click image for larger photo).

The students turned a donated 1964 Ford F-100 into one hot-looking street rod, working one day a week for several months with Gary Komaniecki, Mayo High auto-repair technology and small engine instructor. The other schools were John Marshall, Century and Dover-Eyota.

The list of business and industry partners is lengthy, and the project has captured a lot of attention, including special recognition by the Minnesota governor and House of Representatives. The students, with the help of the Minnesota Street Rod Association (MSRA), towed the car to St. Paul for MSRA’s annual “Run to the Hill” and were introduced during a House session. To view photos of the street rod, visit: end of story

Hair today, a donation tomorrow

Marvin Hardison, a marine technology student at Northeast Technology Center in Afton, Okla., went a year without a haircut to help a cancer victim. After shampooing, cutting and styling his hair, Chelsea Hoodenpyle and Ashley Buchanon (left), second-year cosmetology students, mailed the abundant clippings to Wigs for Kids, a program that uses human hair to create wigs for children with cancer. Since then, the cosmetology class has decided to participate in Wigs for Kids on a regular basis, and Hardison has regrown and donated his hair — twice. end of story

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SkillsUSA Champions | Winter 2004 | Volume 38, No. 2
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