Open Door School students ready to play

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 28, 2004

The smiles they wore were ready and real.

Obviously, the students at Open Door School enjoyed having visitors for lunch - visitors who took the time to get to know them and then goofed around on the playground with them later.

What made the occasion even sweeter was that those visitors brought a lasting reminder of their friendship: the Ironton Junior High School Kids Care Club donated $2,200 to the school for new playground equipment.

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Open Door principal Jeff Saunders said this latest donation has put the fund drive over the top. The school now has enough money to buy that new equipment.

"This has put us to our goal," Saunders said. "We're ready - (the equipment purchase) is on the agenda at Thursday's board meeting."

Ironton Junior High School principal Jerry Watson said

approximately 50 Kids Care Club members raised the money over a two-week period.

"They went out and solicited donations much like they did when they raised money for the American Heart Association. They hit up parents and grandparents and neighbors and they all gave generously."

This was one of several community service projects the students have undertaken. Gear-Up

Coordinator Carol Fugate said the club has donated $9,000 to the community within the last year. The list of benefactors runs the gamut - elderly residents of area nursing homes, children in local hospitals, food drives to help area food pantries and Christmas gifts for needy students at their own school.

What motivates the Kids Care Club members?

"I thought this was something nice to do," Adrianna Poplin said. "I thought the kids here should have something nice to play on."

The Open Door School began a fund-drive

to raise

money to buy the new equipment. The school's current playground equipment is old and does not meet new safety standards.