West Grand students collect 3,400 pounds of food
Sky-Hi Daily News
Have you ever wondered what 3,400 pounds of food looks like?
After a successful food drive for the Mountain Family Center, the West Grand High School chapter of El Pomar Youth in Community Service (EPYCS) doesn’t have to guess.
As part of the group’s Community Impact Project, these young patrons collected almost 3,500 pounds of food and delivered it to the Mountain Family Center on Thursday, Nov. 15.
The Community Impact Project is an integral part of the EPYCS experience and one of the best ways the youths can learn about their community, said Colleen Bonds, club sponsor. She said the project fit well with the club’s mission statement to support and strengthen families in Grand County and surrounding communities.
Bonds instilled in them the wisdom that “early and deliberate planning is the best way to ensure a successful event,” so the students from West Grand High School started in early October to plan their Community Impact Project. They used their event planning skills and created a way to take ownership of the project, choosing to do a school district-wide food drive.
Then, EPYCS students visited with staff members at West Grand Elementary School and West Grand Middle School to explain what their Community Impact Project was about. Each classroom in the district was given a brown grocery bag (donated by Kremmling Mercantile) to fill up.
Students at the high school decided to make it a competition among the high school classes. The class with the most weight in donations would be the winners and earn a trip to the Silverthorne Recreation Center.
The junior class surfaced as the winners, gathering 1,477.71 pounds of the total. They will travel to the center Nov. 27.
Since 1991 EPYCS has been a leadership experience that teaches high school students the importance of community service and the nonprofit sector while empowering them to make an impact on Colorado communities through grant making. Members gain awareness of their community, learn fundraising skills, community impact and grant-making first-hand.
This year’s West Grand group includes Rebecca Almgren, Kimberly Bumgarner, Cory Burr, Brittney Edmondson, Renea Ellison, Kelsey Frank, Sky Handyside, Rose Hargadine, Kecia Hedgecoke, Luke Moses, Madeline Roller, Rebecca Roller, Morgan Sanford, Eric Scholl, Katherine Schonlau, Stephanie Stubbs and Chris Zagone.
Up next for the group is a visit to four schools from the region including Summit High School on Dec. 6. Then they will be off to experience a grant-making workshop at Eagle Valley High School on Feb. 7; will work a hospital auxiliary dinner Feb. 9; and will travel to Glenwood Springs on April 23 for grant presentations.
Through a collaborative effort among the El Pomar Foundation and more than 140 high schools across the state, EPYCS groups take on the role of mini-foundations. El Pomar Foundation provides a $7,500 matching grant to each school group that successfully raises funds amounting to $500 or more. West Grand High School has been involved with EPYCS for the past two years and has granted a total of $8,500 to state and local nonprofit organizations. For more information visit https://epycs.elpomar.org.
“EPYCS would like to thank all the students, staff, and community members who donated to this project,” Bonds said. “It is because of the generous support and donations that we as a community were able to give back to those in need.”
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