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High school seniors put world affairs on the plate with hunger benefit dinner
MARYSVILLE Stamp out hunger; get something to eat!
Its not a joke for two local high school students who are holding a fundraising dinner to help the hungry for their senior project.
Devin Leatherman and Tiffany McBride attend Marysville Arts & Technology High School on the Tulalip Indian Reservation and they wanted to go above and beyond the call of duty to get their diplomas.
Every senior in the Marysville School District must complete a culminating project to graduate but the dynamic duo want to change the world as well as boost their grade point averages.
They are holding a dinner to help fight hunger and spread the word about how many unfortunate people around the world lack the basic necessities we take for granted in a prosperous country like the United States. In addition to the spaghetti and cheesecake, the menu will also feature some education. A Peace Corps volunteer who recently served in Cameroon will speak on his experiences and how people can help others.
According to Leatherman, she and her best friend had to create something that didnt exist before: co-opting an existing institution or program was out of the question and, after all, it really wasnt their style.
We actually tried to do the same thing last year and there were lots of complications, Leatherman explained. As Tiffany puts it, were not people who take no for answer. There are some walls but we are barreling through them, and we are going to do this.
She cited statistics showing that 144 kids worldwide can die in the time it takes someone to shower in the morning. The dinner will only cost folks $10 per head, but what goes into those heads is more important than what goes into their bellies.
We just want to let them know the facts that are out there, Leatherman said. If we give them the tools and the information, maybe they can make a difference.
The proceeds will go to the Childrens Hunger Fund, based in California, and the pair of achievers hope to get at least 150 people for the meal, slated for Saturday, April 28, from 6 - 8 p.m. at the Word of Life Lutheran Brethren Church, 9028 51st Avenue. For more information, directions, or to offer help, the church phone is 360-659-6716, and Leatherman can be reached at 425-737-6482.
McBride and Leatherman are getting help from some teachers at their school and cafeteria cook Michelle Cheney has volunteered to wield the spatula and whisk at her home church. She said she was more than happy to help the outgoing pair and that she will already know where all the pots and pans are. The students hope to net between $1,200 and $1,300 for the Childrens Hunger Fund, according to Leatherman.
Denise Melton has taught the pair English and history for all four years of high school and she said they are exceptional, but not for their choice of senior project This is the second year all A&T grads-to-be must help out the community with a project they create themselves from whole cloth and that is part of their graduation requirements.
These projects are things they designed themselves, they couldnt just volunteer somewhere, Melton explained.
Its not enough to just put on an apron, nametag and hairnet and sling some hash at an organization; the school wants students to put their heads and their hearts into their projects. As for McBride and Leatherman, Melton said she has full faith in their ability to pull the dinner off. The teacher might be helping by passing out programs as an observer, but the two are on their own.
Its their show, its all their doing, Melton said, citing a long list of the things the ladies have accumulated during their four years as A&T students. They both have ambitions above and beyond a job or a dollar sign, she added.
Those two have been amazing leaders in our school, Melton said. They are always looking for ways to improve things. Those two have goals that include continuing to help out the world, not only their community but the world.