Serving up a good cause


First Posted: 3/23/2009

PILOT MOUNTAIN For the month of December, students at Pilot Mountain Middle and Gentry Middle schools worked to collect canned food, which they donated to local organizations.
The catch was that the collection this year was a competition between the two schools to see which could collect the most cans per student. The losing schools principal would then have to serve lunch at the winning school while wearing winning schools colors.
Tom Hemmings, principal at Gentry Middle School, made good on that promise Monday as he dutifully stood behind the lunch counter at Pilot Mountain Middle School, serving up hamburgers, potato wedges and green peas to the student body.
It was fun, and it was hard work, he said. I enjoyed it today.
Hemmings sported a Pilot Mountain Middle Ravens shirt and hat in the schools black and silver and even had a little help from Dennis Lawson, principal at Pilot Mountain Middle, who also served lunch.
I couldnt let him do it by himself, said Lawson. The least I could do is help him serve.
The kids were very polite, and I think they enjoyed seeing someone different behind the counter, said Hemmings.
Lawson came up with the idea for the competition to spur the students to collect more cans to help out their local communities. The concept worked as Gentry brought in double the amount of cans raised last year and Pilot Mountain tripled their collection. In all, 5,800 cans of food were collected. Pilot Mountain Middle donated its cans to Pilot Mountain Outreach Ministry, and Gentry Middle donated its cans to Second Harvest Food Bank.
The kids got excited, and the parents got excited, said Lawson. A little friendly competition never hurt anybody.
Both principals hope to have a competition again next year and are putting on their thinking caps to come up with a different prize for the winning school. The principals, both of whom are competitive, have already begun trying to intimidate the other school.
I said I was starting mine tomorrow, kidded Lawson of next years can drive.
I told him were already collecting. We already have 5,000 cans back-stocked for next year, joked Hemmings.
As a show of good spirit, Lawson will be serving lunch at Gentry Middle School on Wednesday.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.

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