Hayden Student Council bakes cookies for troops | SteamboatToday.com

Hayden Student Council bakes cookies for troops

Project continues effort to help others

Jack Weinstein

— At times, members of the Hayden Valley Elementary School Student Council ate more cookie dough than they put onto pans.

But the students — third- through fifth-graders — eventually rolled three types of cookie dough into balls to make more than 200 cookies that they will send to troops overseas.

After hearing the idea from Student Council co-sponsor Tena Frentress, the students decided they wanted to do it, fifth-grader Alex Hamilton said.

"I thought it was a good idea because they give so much to us, and we wanted to give something back to them," she said.

Fifth-grader Tyler Hockaday said, "We wanted to thank them for fighting for us."

The project is one of several the Student Council members have completed this school year to assist others. They organized a canned-food drive to benefit LIFT-UP of Routt County Hayden Food Bank and the food bank at Hayden Congregational Church. They've also collected clothing and raised money for an orphanage in the West African nation of Burkina Faso.

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Sally McCormick, who is also a Student Council co-sponsor, said getting the students involved in service projects was one of Frentress' and her goals this year to teach them the importance of giving back. She said for many of the projects, the students have taken an idea and run with it.

"I just think it's neat," McCor­mick said. "Kids are powerful, and they can do things for other people.

With Frentress's help, the students researched varieties of cookies that wouldn't go bad during the trip to another part of the world. The students settled on chocolate toffee chip, oatmeal raisin and snickerdoodles.

McCormick said the students are working with Hayden Police Chief Ray Birch to send the cookies. Birch, a former U.S. Marine, has served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves since 2001. He returned a year ago from a tour in Iraq that lasted more than six months. McCormick and Frentress asked Birch if he knew of anyone still serving who might want cookies.

Everyone in his unit has returned home, and he didn't know anyone else still overseas, but Birch was referred to a Web site that he has recommended to the Student Council members. The site, http://www.anysoldier.com, which requires that people sign up, provides names and addresses of men and women who are serving.

Birch said hearing about the Student Council's project made him pleased to be a member of the Hayden community.

"It made me proud of the teachers and the school kids in the community," he said. "It reminded me of the packages I got over there. … It's nice to get special things from home."

Fifth-grader Zoie Lowe said baking cookies for the troops allowed them to show their respect. But, she said, it also made them realize they're lucky.

Asked why the council continued to find service projects, fifth-grader Dustin Sullins provided a simple answer.

"Giving makes us feel good," he said.

Online

Anyone who wants to send baked goods or other care packages to troops can go to http://www.anysoldier.com and register to find the addresses of enlisted men and women serving overseas.

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