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Malow raises money to buy gifts for Toys for Tots

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published December 12, 2014

 Malow Junior High School ninth-grader Ceara Murphy, 15, carries toys to the hallway for the Marines’ arrival Dec. 11. Marines picked up toys for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

Malow Junior High School ninth-grader Ceara Murphy, 15, carries toys to the hallway for the Marines’ arrival Dec. 11. Marines picked up toys for the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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The Marines’ Dec. 11 deployment to Malow Junior High School was part of a successful mission to donate toys to the needy.

According to Amy Gastmeier, a student council adviser and teacher at Malow Junior High School, the school held a “dollar war” student fundraiser in which the seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade classes competed to raise money for charity.

Together, the three grades raised an estimated $1,000, which the school then spent on toys that will go to needy families through the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

Gastmeier said the students contributed their money during lunch in the cafeteria. The prize for the grade that raised the most money is a holiday movie party, she said.

When the cash was totaled, the seventh-grade class won by raising around $390, she said.

Gastmeier said this fundraiser has been ongoing over the past few years, and it has been a success among students. She said the Marines appreciate the effort.

“We are one of many Utica Community Schools that they go visit,” she said.

Gastmeier said she helped organize the event with another adviser named Ann Marie Hitzelberger. After the student money was collected, the school shopped at the Target store near 26 Mile Road and Van Dyke, Gastmeier said.

She said they used the money to buy dolls, games, action figures and toys that were suitable for all ages. She complimented the store for offering discounts.

“We had a whole lane — six carts full of toys,” she explained.

According to school officials, the culmination of the charity drive is when the Marines arrive at the school in big trucks to pick up the toys for charity.

Malow Principal Robert Hock said the fundraiser is made possible through the participation of many students. When the Marines arrive, they usual
ly present the school with “a little something of recognition,” he said.

Hock said the lessons learned through the campaign are valuable.

“It’s very important for us to teach the whole child,” he said. “There is more to maturing and learning and growing up than academics. If we can teach them to be good citizens … it really helps them make decisions for good.”

Learn more about Malow Junior High School, 6400 25 Mile Road, in Shelby Township, by visiting www.uticak12.org or by calling (586) 797-1000. Learn more about Toys for Tots by visiting www.toysfortots.org.

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