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Hurricane Fund Drive Gains National Praise

Students at Gompers Elementary School were among those honored from 14 schools nationwide for their efforts to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina. The students were singled out by RandomKid as the standouts from 4,000 schools nationwide that raised $5.2 million. Five Gompers students participated in a recent conference call where the total amount raised was announced. Among them was first grader Joe Aubuchon, who donated $217 he had saved over two years to purchase a white German shepherd puppy. Adults who learned of Joe’s generosity later purchased a dog for him, named Marshmallow, who is now four months old and "good at playing tag," said Joe. Gompers students raised $5,100, primarily from a Kool-Aid stand operated by Ryan, Micah and Whitney Hollingsworth. They took in more than $3,000 in one weekend. Other Long Beach Unified School District schools recently added to relief funds: • Willard Elementary School raised $3,000 for the Red Cross. Students, parents and staff collected $2,300 while a PTA yard sale with donated items raised another $700. • Jefferson Leadership Academies raised $1,600. The school distributed $500 to the NAACP relief effort and divided $1,100 among three families who have relocated from New Orleans to Long Beach. • Hill Classical Middle School’s car wash raised $1,021, which was donated to First Book, an organization that provides school books and materials to students who are flood victims. • Burcham Elementary School students and staff collected $1,517 for hurricane relief. These funds were then matched by a private company. • Stevenson Elementary School raised $1,000 for school supplies for students relocated as a result of Hurricane Katrina. • Avalon School completed its Katrina relief, collecting four boxes of school supplies, personal items, games, books and clothing. Bake sales and student musicians playing on the downtown stage also raised $1,000. • Bryant Elementary School students raised $913.32 in a spare change drive. • Newcomb Academy students held an art auction that raised nearly $1,500.