OSAWATOMIE — Students at Osawatomie Middle School dug into their piggy banks, saved their allowance and put off getting something new for themselves to make a difference in the annual coin wars to benefit Operation Christmas Child.

Fifteen staff members volunteered to have their names put on a list to have a pie in their face to add extra motivation for the coin wars.

Students bring in cash and coins to be added to their Trojan Time class totals. If they bring in quarters, they put those in another class’s container, and that number is taken away from that class’s total.

A wheel was spun for all of the students in each class to decide who got to put the pie in the staff member’s face.

The announcement of the class winners and pie in the face day was Tuesday, Dec. 7.

Jessica Jones’ class was the top group in eighth grade, donating $80.27. She got a pie in the face from eighth-grader Macy Barnett.

Regan Dunn’s class led the seventh grade, donating $71.68. Seventh-grader Aysa Risner was chosen to put a pie in Nancy Gagnebin’s face.

Linda Morrill’s class was the top sixth-grade class, donating $77.86. Morrill had a pie put in her face by sixth-grader Dakota Moser.

Principal Bruce Hurford had a pie put in his face by eighth-grader Armani Johnson.

Gara Chisam’s class was fourth with $73.35 in donations. Cadence Haney’s class finished fifth with $59.96 in donations.

Students raised a total of $1,007.97. Principal Hurford said he would match the donation up to $500. Members of the First Baptist Church Clothes Closet said they would match donations on the last day, which was $200, adding another $200 to the total for a grand total of $1,707.97.

Jones went to Walmart, Dollar Tree and Dollar General to purchase items to put into boxes for Operation Christmas Child. The coin wars raised enough money to fill 50 boxes.

Jones said it was heartwarming to see the students’ generosity throughout the coin wars project to benefit children who would otherwise have nothing for Christmas.

“One student came to school with a $50 bill to donate,” Jones said. “He gave it to his Trojan Time teacher and told her that he planned on bringing $150 more. We informed our school counselor, Amber Bonner, and she decided to contact the student’s parents to make sure they were aware of this.

“When Bonner called the student’s parent, the mom let her know that her son brought the money and was going to donate to Operation Christmas Child,” Jones said. “She said that her son had come home and told her what we were doing and wanted to use money he had been saving up for quite a while to buy himself a video game. He told his mom that he thought it was more important to donate to help give something to a child in need than to buy something for himself.”

At the end of the program, Jones played a video of students in Mexico opening boxes of colored pencils and crayons with great joy.

“The video showed two little boys opening their Operation Christmas Child boxes filled with presents,” Jones said. “The boys in the video were so excited. But, that is not what I focused on. My attention turned toward our kids who were watching the video.

“I saw the pure joy and happiness on their faces from being able to see exactly what their money was going to do for kids around the world,” she said. “I saw tears and giant smiles as the students watched. Seeing our students’ reactions gave me chills, brought tears to my eyes and warmed my heart.”

Coin wars collected $239.50 in quarters, $103 in dimes, $22.40 in nickels, $22.57 in pennies, $7.50 in dollar and half dollar coins and $613 in cash. The money raised, coins and cash, weighed 35 pounds.

Sports Editor Gene Morris can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or gene.morris@miconews.com.

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