Kingsland Builders Club students, from left, Jennifer McNamara, Gabby Ronnenberg and Callie Lee, are shown  with the food collected from the recent Builders Club sponsored Food Drive Challenge.  The choir won the challenge with 231 pounds.  The food was delivered to the Spring Valley Area Food Shelf by Kiwanis members.
Kingsland Builders Club students, from left, Jennifer McNamara, Gabby Ronnenberg and Callie Lee, are shown with the food collected from the recent Builders Club sponsored Food Drive Challenge. The choir won the challenge with 231 pounds. The food was delivered to the Spring Valley Area Food Shelf by Kiwanis members.
Kingsland Builders Club, along with their classmates, has helped fill the shelves at the Spring Valley Area Food Shelf with more than 500 pounds of food.

"Club members and their classmates collected 497.65 pounds of food and $2.71 during the food drive challenge," said Spring Valley Kiwanian and Builders Club representative Nancy Cornell, speaking of the club's recent food drive challenge, posed to the students at Kingsland High School from Nov. 12 through Nov. 16.

"We made the $2.71 equal 2.71 pounds of food so we came up with a total of 500.36 pounds of food - we've been rounding it off to 500 pounds - and Kiwanis members took it to the Spring Valley Area Food Shelf and weighed each class' donation."

Cornell and adviser Becky Bicknese are in charge of a savvy and empathetic set of seventh grade girls, including Audrey Farlinger, Kaytlynn Haeflinger, Sheyenne Hamilton, Kori Kruegel, Callie Lee, Nicole Lee, Jennifer McNamara, Shayla Mensink, Gabby Ronnenberg and McKayla Schwarz, and the club may have another seventh grade girl join on Tuesday, Dec. 4. Schwarz is president, Ronnenberg is vice president, Mensink is secretary and Farlinger is treasurer.

Cornell explained how the club came to sponsor the food drive challenge. "I had been over to the food shelf and noticed that the shelves were quite bare. Students know from experience and from their science class that food is one of life's necessities. They also know that there are some families in our community who are having a challenge making ends meet and that the food shelf is a great help to them.

Cornell asked the Builders Club students if they would be interested in doing a food drive challenge. She said they enthusiastically said 'yes' and several went off to talk to Mr. Hecimovich, who also thought it was a great idea.

She added, "They had participated in food drives at the Middle School so they knew what was involved. The class to bring in the most food would receive a sweet surprise - a candy bar for each student. The choir and band won with more than 80 students and 231 pounds of food, and Builders Club is grateful to Kiwanis member Red Essig for picking up the tab for the candy bars."

The Builders Club has several upcoming projects planned. "Some are assisting with Wednesday after-school holiday crafts with kindergarten through third graders, helping with the spaghetti supper on Dec. 15 during the Kingsland vs. Lourdes basketball games with proceeds going to Food for Kidz, ringing bells for The Salvation Army, and holding Tech Day in January - helping community members with their electronic gadgets."

The service leadership club for seventh and eighth graders, sponsored by the Kingsland Key Club and the Kiwanis Club, has already been busy since it first convened on Sept. 11, "reading once a month to the three first grades, starting in October, held a lock-in with the Key Club - seven Builders Club members and 16 Key Club members, and made 12 fleece blankets for Ronald McDonald House. They also assembled 13 bags for Mended Little Hearts in Rochester, an organization that supports families with babies and children going through heart surgery. In the bags they put in snacks, playing cards, little activities and more to keep family occupied during their child's surgery - and they also made get well and best wishes cards for the bags.

The group has also made Christmas and thank you cards for troops that were placed in shoebox care packages the Key Club had assembled, helped the Kiwanis fill Halloween treat bags and monitor games with the Kiwanis at the community Halloween party, and sponsored the food drive challenge among seventh through 12th graders in first hour classes during the week of Nov. 12 to Nov. 16.

Cornell concluded, "The Builders Club students are a very caring and eager-to-help group of seventh grade girls, very service-minded. We love to do service and have fun doing it."