Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Powell program yields enough food to fill a Hummer

Eighth-grader Emalee Harris, 13, loads food into the Humvee. Emalee’s house, the Purple Dragons, collected the most food 
at Powell Middle School.

Photo by PAULETTE LASH RITCHIE

Eighth-grader Emalee Harris, 13, loads food into the Humvee. Emalee’s house, the Purple Dragons, collected the most food at Powell Middle School.

BROOKSVILLE — The big, black Hernando County Sheriff's Office Humvee was parked behind Powell Middle School, empty when it arrived and chock-full of food when it left.

The school collected items for the "Stuff the Humvee" program. Powell's four houses: Purple Dragons, Blue Bombers, Yellow Stingers and Green Goblins competed to see which team could collect the most.

The Purple Dragons won and were rewarded with the chance to stuff the Humvee and a pizza party with some of the sheriff's SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team.

"We're doing the holiday food drive for the needy families in Hernando County," said Deputy Eric Dunn, 37, a former Powell student.

An invitation went out to the middle and high schools. Deputies picked up food from the other schools. Schools that had internal competitions, Powell and Fox Chapel middle schools and J.D. Floyd K-8, had the opportunity to stuff the Humvee.

The drive was organized at the school level by school resource officer Deputy Sonya O'Banner. At the Humvee loading, she was joined by Deputies Dunn (SWAT), Rose Denjesus, Scott Reak (SWAT), Abraham Dowdell (SWAT), Steve Sikalos, Steve Snell, Dustin Atkins and Matthew Spooner.

Fox Chapel SRO, Deputy Wendy McGinnis, spearheaded Stuff the Humvee. "She's the one who started the program last year," said Dunn. "I can see it getting bigger and bigger."

The children seemed very aware of the situations of some families and individuals. "There's a lot of homeless people around here," said seventh-grader Brittany Castellano, 12. "When I'm driving in my car I see them. It just makes me feel really bad. It makes my heart want to break."

Fellow Purple Dragon, sixth-grader Eric Riggins, 11, agreed. "There's a lot of people without food," he said. He has seen people pick up discarded bottles to try to get a drink of what might be left in them, he said. "It just makes me feel sad. This helps a whole lot."

Eighth-grader Taishia McRay, 13, is proud of what they had done.

"It makes me feel like I'm helping people and it comes from the heart," she said. "And I'm being a great American citizen."

Powell program yields enough food to fill a Hummer 11/24/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 1:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump condemns 'evil losers' who carried out Manchester concert attack

    Politics

    BETHLEHEM, West Bank — President Donald Trump condemned the "evil losers" responsible for the deadly attack on concert-goers in England Tuesday and called on leaders in the Middle East in particular to help root out violence.

    President Donald Trump pauses as he makes a statement on the terrorist attack in Manchester, after a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in the West Bank City of Bethlehem. [Associated Press]
  2. Tampa Bay Times journalists wins 17 Green Eyeshade Awards

    Human Interest

    Tampa Bay Times journalists placed first in seven categories of the prestigious Green Eyeshade awards, which honors outstanding journalism in the Southeast.

  3. A manatee swims near the entrance to Three Sisters Springs on Kings Bay, some of many springs that feed the Crystal River in Citrus County. The Southwest Florida Water Management District is considering a proposal that would allow a decrease to the amount of fresh water flowing in the Crystal River so that water can be diverted to fuel development. Critics say similar proposals around the state could threaten Florida's environmental health. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2014]
  4. Ailing Florida springs could be tapped further to fuel development

    Water

    BROOKSVILLE — Efforts by state officials to set a minimum flow for its iconic springs have stirred up a wave of public opposition. Opponents contend the state is willing to destroy its springs in order to justify continuing to provide water for new development.

    A manatee swims near the entrance to Three Sisters Springs on Kings Bay, one of many springs that feeds the Crystal River in Citrus County. The Southwest Florida Water Management District is considering a proposal to decrease the amount of fresh water flowing in Crystal River so that water can be diverted to fuel development. Critics say similar proposals around the state could threaten Florida's environmental health. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2014
  5. Canned by lawmakers, PTC staff say they are now forgotten

    Transportation

    TAMPA — After roughly 20 years in the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Mike Gonzalez got another job with a uniform and badge when he was hired in 2015 as an inspector for the Public Transportation Commission.

    The badge that PTC inspectors carry while on duty. State lawmakers voted to abolish the agency this year leaving its remaining employees fearing for their future.