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Students at Oak Hill Middle School in Sabattus, Maine, organized a fundraising drive and collected more than $400 for The American Legion's Operation Comfort Warriors  program.
Aimée N. Lanteigne said that her seventh-grade advisory group initiated a coin drive last November and December. "The students decorated and distributed empty yogurt containers to every classroom and then gathered them up and counted all the coins collected," she said. "It took nearly two weeks for students to count and recount all the loose change and then roll it into coin sleeves."
And on Feb. 15, during a ceremony at the middle school, student Chris Campbell presented Ron Caron of American Legion Sabattus Post 135 with a check for $439.24.
The presentation ceremony began with the middle school band playing the national anthem, followed by Campbell and students' Jacob Kirchner, Lindsey Weeks, Drew Gordon and Tyler Desmarais speaking about the purpose of the assembly and how their group collected the money for OCW.
Attending the event from the Legion Family were Caron, veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who served in Vietnam; Gordon Smith, Navy veteran who served in Korea; Dominic Santamango, Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam; Joseph Michaud, veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who served in Panama; Jim Rancourt, active duty Army serviceman who has been in Iraq and who will be going to Afghanistan soon; Tracy Rancourt, who served in the Coast Guard and was stationed in Grenada; and Joan Caron, Auxiliary president of Post 135.
Ron Caron presented the school with a certificate and a minted coin that states "Thank you for your service."
Lanteigne said, "The staff and students at Oak Hill Middle School are humbled and honored to be a part of such a worthy charity, which seeks to give back to those who give so much of themselves for others."