BY JIM LANGHAM, Times Bulletin Correspondent
VAN WERT COUNTY — For the seventh consecutive year, young people from Lincolnview and Crestview schools have united in a competitive effort to raise money for the United Way of Van Wert County. In over a week’s time, the two schools carried out school activities in an attempt to raise more funding for the United Way than the other school. In addition, area businesses and donors contributed towards the United Way by donating to the fundraising efforts of the two schools.
This year’s fundraiser ended with a Lincolnview-Crestview boys’ game in Convoy with the final totals of the effort being announced at the halftime of the game.
It was extremely close this year but Crestview raised a total of $19,788.92 while Lincolnview brought in a total of $19,510.65, for a grand total of $39,299.57 toward this year’s all-around goal of $500,000.
“This is the seventh year of a really great tradition,” noted Ashley Bultemeier, who headed up this year’s event. “There’s a lot more stuff going on in this event than anyone realizes. It is exciting to see all of these moving pieces coming together as communities come together.
“It is an eye-opener for United Way awareness,” continued Bultemeier.
Lincolnview senior Breck Evans said that she hopes that raising money that goes back to the community tells residents how much the young people care about them.
“This shows how much we care about our community,” said Evans.
Evans said that at Lincolnview, the event goes under the name of “Spirit Week,” and features a dodge ball tournament, change war, pie in the face, duct-taping the principals, and lots of planning and ideas submitted by the student council.
“This shows how strong our school can be,” said Lincolnview senior Morgan Anspach. “Everybody chips in for the amount of money we raise each year. When we had our initial meeting, we came together with the Crestview kids to plan for this. This shows how much we really unite for this.
“There’s definitely a lot of work in this, but it pays to see the money come in for our community. We would especially like to thank all the agencies that helped,” continued Anspach. “ Money we raise goes back to our schools through the agencies that we support.”
“It feels like part of something bigger,” said Crestview senior Emma Wells, who plans to become an agriculture teacher. “It allows you to see what you can do when you come together to do something positive.”
Like Lincolnview students, those at Crestview created unique activities for fundraising such as a winter carnival and paying five dollars to miss a class in the afternoon.
Crestview student body president Olivia Heckler emphasized that she was amazed at how hard students worked to do successful fundraising.
“It is great to see how much a lot of hard work and planning can do to help an effort like this,” said Heckler. “On Friday night when everyone comes together, it really is that; we really do come together and celebrate what has been done for United Way.”
“It’s really exciting to see how the schools come together to raise this amount of cash,” said Bultemeier.
“My children are excited because I am involved in this,” added Bultemeier. “They really understand how important this is. It makes our whole family excited.”