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News Generosity in Action: Pella Middle School Students Present Checks to Local Nonprofits

Published on April 29, 2024

In their 13th year of operating a concession stand, 7th-grade Social Studies students from Mrs. Schulz’s and Mrs. Lybbert’s classes at Pella Middle School have continued their tradition of generosity. During the basketball season, they raised $6,230 in revenue from their concession stand efforts, ultimately contributing $3,200 in profits to various charitable causes. Their cumulative donations over the years now stand at an impressive $37,510.


The Ronald McDonald Foundation offers assistance to families with children undergoing long-term care. Through the Ronald McDonald House, they provide accommodations, meals, and snacks for these families. Lynden Schettler and Emily VanEngen presented a $250 check to Maggie Siwinski of the Ronald McDonald House in Des Moines.

Seventh graders Raegen Laverman and Molly Schwerdtfeger presented a $300 check to Miss Becky Steenhoek and Teah Hugen from Backpack Buddies. The funds will assist in supporting students at Pella Middle School who may lack sufficient food at home during the weekends.

JUMP (Journey Up Mentoring of Pella) provides mentoring support to students in our local community who require extra assistance. Hayden Bohn and Alma Wick presented a $300 check to Jill McKinstrey of JUMP.

Launching Arrows champions students with special needs, offering support to families by providing braces, walkers, and organizing events like Night of the Stars. Kelsie Parton, CEO of Launching Arrows, and Pella School Special Education Director, alongside Jocie VanMaanen, Sibley Carlstone, and Nina Carlton, were pictured during the presentation of a $300 check.

Care Bags, founded by Pella teacher Annie Foskett at the age of 11, provides assistance to individuals who are displaced or homeless. Reese Green presented a $300 check to Mrs. Brandt on behalf of Mrs. Foskett.

Many Hands assists individuals facing food insecurity, poverty, and educational challenges in Abaco, Bahamas, and Haiti. AJ Brand, the son of CEO Tim Brand, along with Rachel DeJong, presented a $500 check to Tim Brand.

The Raining Season operates as an orphanage in Sierra Leone, Africa. Doug and Dr. Jen Diers of Central have welcomed multiple children from this orphanage into their family. Lucy Diers, accompanied by her associate teacher from Pella High School, accepted the check on behalf of her family. Allie Hellbusch presented the $500 check.

Mrs. Lyons, a science teacher at Pella High School, launched the nonprofit organization Team Keegs in honor of her son, Keegan, who lives with nonverbal autism. One of the objectives is to purchase race carts, enabling people to experience racing events like the Klompin Klassic. Mrs. Lyons accepted a $400 check from her seventh-grade son, Kyler Lyons.

Three seventh-grade students from Pella have personal experience with the impacts of Juvenile Diabetes. Carley Farnsworth accepted a $400 check on behalf of the JDRF Foundation. The check was presented by seventh graders Brielle VanZee, Emisyn Jaworski, and Elena Henderson.