Students #039;Make a Difference#039;

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 16, 2003

They want to make a difference, and they hope their community will help them.

The Ironton Junior High School Kids Care Club is soliciting donations of cash and candy to fill Trick-or-Treat bags for residents in two area nursing homes, and for children at two local hospitals. The Trick-or-Treat project is the club's contribution to this year's local observance of the national "Make A Difference Day."

"This is all voluntary," club advisor Tammy Rowe said. "The kids care and they want to get involved. It's an activity that is rewarding to them and it helps the community."

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Approximately 40 of the club's 90-plus members are decorating the small white paper bags they plan to fill with candy and games. The bags will be distributed to residents at Bryant Health Center and Jo-Lin Health Center and to children who are patients in the pediatric units of King's Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, Ky., and Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital in Russell, Ky.

"We're pushing for 150 bags," IJHS Principal Jerry Watson said. "And anything people want to donate, we will pick up." Those who want to make a donation may call Watson at 532-9458.

The annual "Make A Difference Day" will be observed nationally Oct. 25. But the Kids Care Club members will stretch their activities over a three-day period, visiting with nursing home patients earlier in the week, and taking part in recreation activities at those facilities.

The Kids Care Club is also taking part Saturday in the annual American Heart Walk at Central Park in Ashland, Ky. Money raised goes to the American Heart Association.

Approximately 47 club members have raised $3,773.81 to date for that endeavor. This is the first major event the Kids Care Club has undertaken since the beginning of the school year.

Students who have raised $50 or more will get to go to the King's Island Fearfest in Cincinnati later in the day.

The Kids Care Club, sponsored by Gear Up, has scheduled a number of activities throughout the year, all with the aim of instilling a love of community service in the young people who take part.