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Somerset Middle School makes a tradition of giving

Emma Lepper and Meghan Erickson (right) present toys to Santa and Mrs. Claus for Christmas delivery.1 / 2
Brad Marcello (front) and Tyler Lueck were first in line for the photos. The students also collect gifts for Toys for Tots.2 / 2

It happens every year at about this time. A wave of giving and caring circulates through the Somerset Middle School.

Students find ways to give. Some do it outwardly, others try to be anonymous. Some make it a competition. No matter how it gets done, each year it does get done.

There are a number of activities at the middle school to help those less fortunate during the holiday season.

One of the most popular is the Penny Wars. This year, more than $1,200 was raised through the Penny Wars. The home room students of fifth grade teacher Lytha Lyons accounted for more than $400.

"The boys in my homeroom really stepped up and brought in change," Lyons said. "It was a great battle and many families will benefit from our fight. Each year I tell my class to fight hard, fight early in the week and that we take no prisoners. Our ultimate goal is to raise money to help needy families."

Through the funds raised in the Penny Wars, the middle school adopted five families for Christmas through the Salvation Army.

"That's 22 people we helped make a better Christmas for," said Sara Eichten, the new principal at the middle school.

The Penny Wars and Photos With Santa have been going on for more than a decade at the middle school. Collecting items for Toys for Tots began five years ago.

The middle school students also held a food drive at a Dec. 11 school dance and four boxes of food were collected that night.

Eichten said the holiday efforts are meant for students to recognize that there are people in less fortunate situations.

"We want kids to see the importance and value of giving back," Eichten said.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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