COPY-A homecoming with a cause - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Fanna Haile-Selassie

COPY-A homecoming with a cause

Plainview, MN (KTTC-DT) --It's first big school celebration for many students, Homecoming. While there are many activities happening during this time, the football game and the crowing of Homecoming King and Queen tend to be the favorites. One local school is starting a new tradition.

Being crowned Homecoming king or queen will make a student feel special. The Plainview-Elgin-Millville high school students crowned this year will get an extra dose of those warm fuzzy feelings.

"I thought it would be kind of fun to see if I could make a difference with Homecoming and show off what we're about. And I thought if I presented them with a challenge and see what they could do that it would be interesting for everybody, and it's paid off very well," explains PEM high school Spanish teacher Jennifer Simon.

About $3,000 well off, in fact. Simon allowed each candidate 5 extra votes for every $50 they could raise for the American Cancer Society.

"At first when I heard about it, I thought it was kind of a weird thing to do, like raise money for votes. I didn't really think it was right to buy a vote, kind of. But then we all decided together that we would just raise it for the cancer alone and not count it toward the votes," says Homecoming queen candidate Korie Dykes.

For the senior class, the fundraiser hits home. 3 students had immediate family members pass away from cancer. One of them, an 8-year-old brother died just two months ago.

"His name was Jackson Schneider," explains big sister Hilary Schneider. "He was diagnosed at 5 years-old with neuroblastoma. He was probably the happiest kid you'd ever meet."

Another student's mother passed away when he was only 2.

"My mom was a homecoming queen here when she was a senior. Otherwise, I just know her as she was a nice lady and she got along with everyone," says PEM high school senior Alan Miller.

The money raised will be donated in the names of the three families who lost family members.

"Since it's been so recent since he did pass away, it's just helping me and my family kind of, not move on, but help deal with it. And it really means a lot to my whole family and to me, and I know he would have appreciated it very much," exclaims Schneider.

Simon's goal is to make this fundraiser a homecoming tradition with a new charity picked every year.

"Homecoming is just a thing every year, but this adds a little something extra to it that almost makes it seem worthwhile," says Miller.

The Homecoming coronation was at 7 o'clock Sunday night. Congratulations king and queen Gabe Thiel and Laura Flicker.

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