Mountain Christian students

Mountain Christian students bought and delivered turkeys for needy families. From left to right are Ian Koch, Mervin Declay, Clover Kowalewski, Makayla Franks and Jared Tamondong.

Students at Mountain Christian School exemplified the spirit of giving recently when they raised enough money to purchase more than sixty turkeys to bless families in need this Thanksgiving.

The fundraiser that made it possible for students to come up with $1,600 to help needy families was called “Penny War,” in which students brought in loose change and competed with other classes to collect the most money.

After counting the money and determining which class won the competition, 8th grade student council representatives visited the grocery store to purchase as many turkeys as possible. They bought 63 turkeys, loaded them up and took them across town to deliver them.

Volunteers from several local churches, including First Baptist of Pinetop and Dream City, gathered at Grace Church Food Bank in Running Bear Mobile Resort to distribute the turkeys.

The event was organized by Dave Walters and Dan Parcell, and enabled the food bank to help 197 local families with turkeys and fixings for Thanksgiving.

One of the volunteers stated that the impetus for helping can be found in Matthew 25:40 in the Holy Bible, which reads (KJV), “Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

Becky Knapp is a lifelong journalist who has worked at newspapers in Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Florida. Reach the reporter at

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