Via Crest Foods grant: Mission accomplished!

ROCHELLE — At Thursday’s Crest Foods Give Back Grant competition, the Rochelle Township High School successfully defended the need for a family space at the Rochelle Rescue Mission. Dixon High School advocated for Lee County Area Council on Aging and Ashton-Franklin Center High School advocated for the Ashton Community Foundation (emergency assistance). The Hubs brought home $2,500! Dixon won $1,500 and AFC, $1,000.
The Rochelle Hubs were absolute rock stars Thursday and it’s a good thing because the competitors for the 2017 Crest Foods Giveback Grant Ashton-Franklin Center FFA and Dixon High School Student Council & Key Club, were invested in their causes and prepared to persuade.
AFC explained all the ways in which the Ashton Community Foundation has provided $25,000 in assistance to 100 families since 2012. The Dixon students have spent a lot of time at the LCACOA senior citizen center, taking Golden Zumba classes, playing bridge and even attending the senior citizen prom.
But the testimony about homelessness within our building and the greater number of homeless children in the elementary district, Rochelle’s lack of housing, one student’s (anonymous) experience and recommendations, and the success of the Mr. Hub Pageant all reinforced for the judges that the entire student body at RTHS is committed to supporting a space at Rochelle Rescue Mission that will keep families together.
“If you’ve lost your home and you get separated from your family, then you have lost the little bit of support you had. We believe keeping families together is very important,” Ande Madsen said.
The presentations were made in front of a large audience of Crest Food employees who deliberated and discussed the merits of each program and professionalism of each presentation.
The teams competed for a $2,500, $1,500 and $1,000 awards.
“You know, we had a 3-way tie last year. We decided that would not happen again, but I’ll tell you what; this decision today wasn’t easy,” Crest Foods President Jeff Meiners explained. “All three groups have done really good work. We liked your knowledge of your subject and the level of your involvement. So, based on presentation and involvement, it will be Rochelle, Dixon and AFC.”
The room erupted in applause and celebration.
Since January 20, RTHS has raised $4,100 for Rochelle Rescue Mission:
• $400 in hygiene items
• $500 in cash donations during MLK week
• $700 from the Mr. Hub Pageant and now
• $2,500 from Crest Foods.
Mr. Harper stood in a corner snapping photos and tweeting the results.
“This was a wonderful experience for me today,” he told the team. “You kids did a terrific job!”
Kanaan Childers, our incoming StuCo President took the microphone for the afternoon announcements to share the good news. We made a difference! Thanks to everyone who participated in the RRM project.

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