Donors come through for Gifford eighth-graders
GIFFORD - Thanks to several businesses and individuals who donated money in the last 12 hours, Gifford eighth graders will leave in one week for Washington, D.C.
A few days ago parent organizers found themselves without a charter bus for their children's trip out East and have been scrambling to find a replacement only to have quotes come in at about $2,000 over budget.
“We talked about having a bake sale to raise the extra money, but within 12 hours, it was all taken care of,” said Carleen Lantis, mother of an eighth grader and one of the organizers of the trip.
“The story’s changed quite a bit. It’s been pretty amazing. ... We didn’t expect that at all,” Lantis said Saturday.
Residents and businesses in Gifford donated money as well as people around the county. No more donations are needed, Lantis said.
“We’ll be paying it forward. We’ll be talking to the kids about community service projects,” as a thank you to all who've donated, she said.
On Saturday, parents were still evaluating different transportation options. They haven’t finalized a bus service yet, but expect to do so soon, especially now that they have all the money needed.
It’s not a Gifford Grade School-sponsored trip, but the annual trip to Washington, D.C. for the eighth-graders and their parents has become a tradition in recent years. Students raised close to $24,000 since last summer by selling doughnuts, holding a spaghetti supper, pumping gas, and more.
This week they learned the bus service with which they had made a deposit had gone out of business and could no longer drive them to Washington, D.C. Parents promised to do what they could to make the trip happen given the tough year students have had since the November tornado that swept through the little town.
Students and their chaperones will leave Saturday, April 12, and return on April 17. The trip coincides with the school's spring break.
The group plans to visit the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, the National Museum of the Marine Corps, George Washington's Mount Vernon estate, the National Mall, the National Archives, the Smithsonian museums.
On their way to D.C. they plan to stop at the site where Flight 93 crashed in rural Pennsylvania.