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Fundraiser showcases kids talents

Students raise money to support weekend food backpack program

BROOKFIELD — The artistic talents of Brookfield school students were showcased at a recent fundraiser that benefit the local Brookfield Backpack Charitable Fund, which gets food to local children for the weekends.

The Brookfield Hungry for the Arts exhibit was held March 7 at Tiffany Banquet Center.

Tracy Plyler, president of Brookfield Backpack Charitable Fund, said the fundraiser not only raises awareness and money for the backpack program but celebrates the talents of the students.

Alana Jervis, 9, a fourth-grader, received first place for her multi-colored picture of a girl.

“I did a picture of a girl who was bullied and was going to put her foot down to the bullies and not take it anymore,” she said.

Visual art teacher Linda Bain said students could submit entries for the art contest.

“We had a nice variety of items,” Bain said.

Brookfield Local Schools Superintendent Toby Gibson said, “Any time we can have an opportunity to showcase our students and their creative spirit of what they can do is important.”

Plyler said the event helps to sustain the backpack program, in which volunteers pack bags of child-friendly food for hungry students to take home over the weekend.

“It is the only fundraiser that we do every year and it is very important. The number of students we help increases each year,” she said.

The event raises between $3,000 to $4,000.

Plyler said the backpack program used to be held at Brookfield United Methodist Church and now is housed at the school complex, where volunteers sort and pack food each week. That makes it easier for volunteers, she said.

Plyler said 50 elementary students receive food in backpacks each weekend. The school district has a food pantry available for middle and high school students.

Organizers say that the event is a great way to showcase their kids but also to teach them how to give back.

The event included not only artwork but also performing arts talent of the school drama club and jazz band. Twenty students volunteered their time working the craft table and photo booth to receive community service hours.

“This is all community-oriented. It’s for their own community and I think that’s important for us as adults. To show and lead by example. The students understand the importance of volunteerism,” Plyler said.

The food is provided by Second Harvest Food Bank.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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