Friendly rivalry helps those in need

SOUTHINGTON – A friendly rivalry between students from Bristol and Southington schools is helping those in need in both communities.

The third annual “Rivals for a Cause” was held recently during the Bristol vs. Southington varsity basketball game. Each Beta Club tried to collect as many canned goods and donations as they could.

Tables were set up outside the gymnasium in Southington where the game was held allowing the public to make donations of nonperishable food items and canned goods.

This year, a total of 822 canned goods and $1,490 for the Warren Family Mission were collected by the two schools.

Jennifer Mitchell, adviser for Southington Beta Club, said the rivalry collection started three years ago, first held in Southington and last year in Bristol.

Whichever school brings in the most canned goods get a floating trophy. Bristol has had the trophy for the past two years. For 2014, Southington won the trophy for the first time.

Mitchell said the school’s cheerleading adviser Danielle Wagner saw something done like this in Windham and approached her with the idea for Southington schools.

Mitchell contacted Bristol Beta Club adviser Vonnie Peterson with the idea.

“We all met together and planned for it and thought it would be a good idea to help both communities,” Mitchell said.

The first and second years, toys were collected. Because this year’s event was held in January, it was decided to do the event for food pantries and local churches.