In December, the Ellswoth Community School High School Student Council challenged the student body to a baby drive to collect items for the Good Samaritan Family Services Moms & Tots Center.
The hallway was decorated with a "Giving Tree" and the students were challenged to reach a goal of 250 points. Each item brought in was equal to one point and more points were given to bigger items. The students rose to the challenge, bringing in clothes, diapers, baby food, coats, shoes, boots, hats and $186 in cash.
"The students reached 480 points, which shattered the schoolwide goal of 250 points," said Carole Broadwick, director of the Moms & Tots Center. "We want to send a big thank you to the great young people in Ellsworth High School."
The Great Wolf Lodge and Karen and Charlie Frederickson, coordinators of the Leelanau County Toys for Tots Drive, received the top awards from Toys for Tots of Northwest Michigan at the campaign's wrap-up dinner.
The Star Awards are given both to people who serve on the organizing committee and a person or organization that makes a major contribution from outside the committee.
Karen and Charlie Frederickson have headed up the toy drive in Leelanau County for many years. This year toy donations in the county reached a record number.
The Great Wolf Lodge has supported Toys for Tots since shortly after it opened in Traverse City. They have hosted the kick-off event each year and offer water park passed to everyone who brings in toy donations to the Fox dealership.
"This would be a far different campaign without Great Wolf Lodge's support and the tireless work of the Fredericksons," said campaign coordinator Maggie Kent. "We were able to meet all the needs of the 17 human service agencies we serve, but I'm not sure that would be the case without the help of our Star Award recipients."
Kent went on to say that the campaign collected more than 26,000 toys that were distributed to more than 7,500 children.