By Carole Grosch | Reporter
A week before Super Bowl LI, Mickey Cox Elementary School held its first “Souper Bowl Food Drive” – and they scored big on behalf of Fresno’s Ronald McDonald House (RMHC).
“A parent and employee at Mickey Cox, Angela Haubelt, approached me with the idea to do a can food drive to benefit a charity,” says Cheryl Floth, Mickey Cox principal.
Parent Club Co-President, Andree Dillon, Floth and Haubelt decided to forward the donations to the RMHC, a home away from home for families with children receiving medical treatment. The facility is located adjacent to Valley Children’s Hospital.
“It was our ‘Souper Bowl’ and the winning primary and upper grade classes competed for Souper Bowl rings (Ring Pops) and a huge trophy that will be passed on to the new winner next year,” said Floth. “We collected over 3,000 canned food and various other items.”
The “wins” were delivered the afternoon of Feb. 8 and included two students from each of the primary class and upper grade class that collected the most donations. All students in the top donating classes received a Souper Bowl “ring” in the form of a Ring Pop.
Collecting the most wins were Megan Ratliff’s first grade class and Matt Filippi’s fifth and sixth grade combination class.
“This was a wonderful opportunity to teach about giving back, a teaching moment,” said Ratliff. “We can take care of each other and make a difference. We can do our best and it’s a win-win for everyone.”
“We won, we really won!,” was the overwhelming sentiment of the first graders of their 350 wins.
“My students were motivated from the start to help people who are in need, because that is the kind of kids that I am teaching,” said Filippi, of his fifth and sixth grade combination class.”At first, we were unaware of any prize for top donating class. I simply told them all proceeds are going to the Ronald McDonald House and it was a worthy cause. My class would have donated just as much if nothing was on the line except knowing that we helped other people.
“We felt pretty good about our total when the drive was over, but we didn’t know for sure until our principal announced the winners at an assembly in dramatic fashion. Our class erupted in euphoric cheers, fist pumps, chest bumps, and high fives. It was a very satisfying experience. I am very proud of my class’s efforts and we display our ‘souper bowl’ trophy gladly in our room.”
During the RMHC tour, students were able get a feel for the facility, see where their wins would be stored and watch a helicopter take off.
“We were very humbled and excited to deliver the donations to the Ronald McDonald House,” added Floth. “The facility is top-notch and serves our community in a very important way. Students, parents, and the Mickey Cox staff were so impressed with the day to day operation. We look forward to working with the Ronald McDonald House in the future.”
RMHC is an independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to create, find, and support programs that directly improve the health and wellbeing of children. Established by Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s fast food chain, RMHC has a global network of chapters in 52 countries. The organization has received accolades and awards for contributions and was named one of “America’s 100 Best Charities” by Worth Magazine.