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Detroit Lakes High School donates $3,500 toward WDC Playground Fund

Photo by Dana Pavek/WDC Schools Surrounded by Wadena-Deer Creek preschoolers are WDC music teacher/student council advisor Mike Ortmann, left, and Duke Harrison, a recent 2011 graduate of WDC and student council president. Ortmann and Harrison gave a presentation on how the June 17, 2010 tornado affected the school to the Detroit Lakes High School (DLHS) students and staff earlier this spring. DLHS turned around and raised $3,500 for the WDC Playground Equipment Fund.

Every year, Detroit Lakes High School Student Council sponsors a Care Week where they organize a week of fundraising activities for a worthy cause.

The DLHS Student Council choose Wadena-Deer Creek School for their 2011 Care Week, said Mary Buff Haus, DLHS teacher/student council advisor.

"We choose the cause based on something or someone our students can relate to and being that Wadena is our neighbor and many of our students know so many students in Wadena, we thought it would be a great idea to help our neighbors. I contacted Mike [Ortmann] to see if there were any special needs yet and he informed me of the WDC Playground Equipment Fund."

Using the theme, Like A Good Neighbor, Detroit Lakes High School is There, the DLHS Student Council organized many fundraisers throughout the week, such as selling cookies at lunch; several "minute drives" at events passing around buckets where people had a minute to donate money; sold stickers for Hat Day which allowed students the opportunity to wear a hat during the school day; hosting a "Mr. DLHS Mangeant" competition; a senior boys versus junior boys Muscle Ball competition; and a Sadie Hawkins Dance.

Not only students and staff from DLHS were involved in the week's activities, but many parents and community members attended the Mr. DLHS Mangeant and Muscle Ball fundraisers as well.

Buff Haus said the DLHS students gained a sense of pride knowing they've made a positive impact by raising money for WDC. The $3,500 will be donated toward new playground equipment after the tornado.

"By doing this, we hope our students will continue to find ways to help others on their own," said Haus.

Glass keepsakes raise $470 for playground equipment

Tanya Collins, a jeweler and mother of four from Deer Creek, who transformed shards of broken glass from the tornado-damaged Wadena-Deer Creek High School into unique and beautiful keepsakes, has donated $472 from the sale of the ornaments.

Collins donated a portion of the sale of the ornaments to go toward the WDC Playground Equipment Fund. She made more than 250 ornaments for WDC staff and from orders.

"I chose to raise money for the playground equipment after visiting with Superintendent Virginia Dahlstrom about any needs the school still had," said Collins. "I couldn't think of a better way to turn a frown upside down. So much heartache was caused by the tornado, it's nice to be able to turn that heartache into a smile with these glass keepsakes."