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Allen Road Elementary students, laborers of love

Elementary school completes several projects for charities

I have been meaning to donate some items to the Haiti relief effort. The Salvation Army could also use some donations, not to mention the North Area Meals on Wheels.

But wait, I shouldn't forget the men and women serving overseas, they need care packages from home, too.

What about doing all of the above?

Sounds impossible for most, but for Allen Road Elementary, the entire month of February was a "Labor of Love."

Students in all grades participated in each donation effort. The month kicked off with the second annual Labor of Love Valentine Dinner and Silent Auction held Feb. 11 at the school.

For $4, an attendee was served an assortment of soups and salad, a menu that was "simple but very delicious," according to Barbara Rachetta, the event's coordinator.

Rachetta, also the publicity chairperson for the Allen Road Elementary Parent Teacher Organization, said the community's attendance and enjoyment made the effort "worth while."

Community members were invited to bid on hand-painted ceramic bowls, designed by ARE staff and faculty. All proceeds made from the silent auction were donated to the North Area Meals on Wheels.

"We raised $700 last year for a charity," Rachetta said. "And somehow it turned into something more this year."

The dinner and silent auction raised $1,250 for NAMOW, which allowed the school to present the organization with a "big check."

"I was in awe of people's generosity," Rachetta said. "Everyone was excited to donate and get to take something home, too."

Rachetta said the idea that people "get something in return and still helping made the community's excitement show."

In addition to the dinner, the school participated in Aeropostale's Jeans for Teens collection for Haiti. The Salvation Army also benefited from the school's generosity with a large collection of blankets. Bins for both efforts were located in the entrance of the elementary school.

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