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Gihon students raise $2,600 for charity

Will go to Wounded Warrior Project, Salvation Army

Members of the Gihon Elementary School student council stand with advisers Ken Riggs, left back row, and Britany Graham, right back row, next to a scoreboard announcing the more than $2,600 the school raised last week by the school for the Wounded Warrior Project and the Salvation Army. (Photo by Michael Erb)

PARKERSBURG — Students are Gihon Elementary raised more than $2,600 last week to benefit area veterans and families in need.

The Gihon Student Council organized the week-long fundraising event with a modest goal of $300, but teachers convinced students to try for more.

“We thought if each class could raise $50, that would be $800,” said Britany Graham, fourth-grade teacher and student council adviser. “But on the first day we raised $400, and it just kept growing.”

By the end of the week, students had raised $2,608.13.

“It was a family effort. It was a staff effort. Everyone got into it,” Graham said. “It was amazing.”

Half the amount raised will go toward the Wounded Warrior Project which helps soldiers who were severely injured in the line of service receive prosthetic limbs and other mobility aides. The remaining money will be used, along with a donation from the Ghion Parent-Teacher Association, to sponsor about eight children through the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. Each child will receive about $200-250 in gifts, Graham said.

“With Veterans Day coming up, we wanted to do something for our veterans, but we also wanted to do something good for the community,” Graham said. “We felt this was the best way to do both.”

Fifth-graders Austin Canepari and Brooklyn Johnson are both members of the school’s 24-member student council, and said initially students were doubtful they could raise even $300.

“I was just thinking ‘wow.’ It went up so fast,” Canepari said. “It was just amazing how much money Gihon raised.”

“It makes me really proud, that we’re helping these families” Johnson said.

Graham said this marks the first fund-raising activity undertaken by student council.

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