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CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS

The K-Kids Club at Eastside Elementary School, sponsored by the Ridge Manor Kiwanis Club, has a great deal of heart. "Our students really feel for the children who were affected by the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 and wanted to do something to help them," said Beth Zacharias, K-Kids adviser.

The K-Kids decided to have a fundraiser and split the profits between helping the children in New York and building a memory garden at their school.

K-Kid members selling items Oct. 25 included: William Harper, Gabrielle French, Cody Hasson, Patrick Simmons, Bryanna Adkison and Mary Schuler.

The idea for the memory garden is actually an extension of a memory garden already started. A few years ago, the school lost a staff member, Pat Martin, and a redbud tree was planted in her memory. Later, holly bushes were planted in the same area by two staff members who lost their mothers.

The area, scattered with picnic tables and the plantings, is special to the staff and students.

"When a student goes above and beyond or does an extra good deed, they are rewarded with eating lunch outside on one of the picnic tables," said Cindy Kinner, another K-Kid adviser. The teachers also enjoy eating lunch there.

The K-Kids hope to raise enough money to send to New York and to purchase additional landscaping materials, including flowers.

Last year the K-Kids raised funds by selling candy-grams, earning enough to build a small area that they landscaped with shrubs and plants.

"The parents of the K-Kids are so wonderful. They always come through and help us get things done," said Zacharias.

Les Adkison, father of K-Kid member Bryanna, was on hand to help with the patriotic sales on Oct. 25.

"It's good to have an adult there (at the sale table) to make sure the correct change is being given back," said Kinner.

In addition to the math lesson the children received, the fundraiser helped develop self-esteem and leadership skills.

The K-Kids Club meets from 8:30 to 9 a.m. every Tuesday at the school and has about 35 members in third through fifth grades. The club would appreciate community support to help with the memory garden. The group also is looking for someone with landscaping experience to help design the garden _ with the children's input. Anyone wanting to help or donate should contact the school at 797-7045.

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