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FREMONT, Michigan -- A fund drive by Newaygo County Career-Tech Center students and staff yielded a donation of $1,004 and 36.2 pounds of canned goods for the TrueNorth Food Pantry, along with a wintry and wet celebration.

In a special gathering Monday morning outside the center, students celebrated the results of their efforts with a formal oversized check presentation to TrueNorth Community Services. That was followed by the public dousings of six administrators, instructors and paraprofessionals along with eight students by a specially-constructed, 40-gallon splash tank filled six times with water during a nearly hour-long spectacle met by laughter and joy.

“Students presented their plan to help raise awareness to the less fortunate in Newaygo County and how the food pantry aids those in need.  The creativity student leaders showed generated interest in the project and received buy in from all students and staff,” Newaygo County Career-Tech Center Director of Career & Employability Services Gretchen Spedowske said of student leaders from welding, construction trades and graphic design.

Spedowske got splashed along with Bernard Brown, principal; Chris Aebig, building trades instructor; Aaron Brandon, welding instructor; Dave Robinson, welding paraprofessional; and Dave Silva, construction trades paraprofessional. The students getting wet for the benefit included Spencer Buozis, Lily DeBlock, Owen Kowalski, Pryce Kowalski, Trayton McKinnon, Julissa Rodriguez, Darrick Russell and Kyle Williams.

The three-week drive included a student-run marketing and awareness campaign with students designing and building the splash tank and contribution containers, Spedowske said.

“For all these people to brave the freezing conditions to get dumped on is crazy. I got cold just watching them,” said Mark Kraus, Community Liaison and Development Officer for TrueNorth Community Services.

“It’s heartwarming to think of all those these donations will help feed.”

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