The Panthers are painting the town purple Tuesday during Creston/Orient-Macksburg’s wrestling meet against Red Oak and Shenandoah.
A “purple out” event will take place during the wrestling meet, as well as a penny war leading up to the 5:30 p.m. sports event Tuesday.
“I feel like everyone’s been affected in some way,” said Shannon Smith, Creston High School business and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) instructor. “Whether they were born premature, or had a family member born premature. ... And so, the organization is just making sure there are healthy babies born.”
The “purple out” will consist of spectators wearing any shade of purple to the meet. “Battling for babies” T-shirts are still available to purchase, and proceeds will go to March of Dimes Foundation, the nonprofit organization focused on raising awareness of health and mortality of infants and mothers.
“I think it’s a good organization to support, and so the purple, those are the colors of the March of Dimes,” Smith said.
Student government students began the “purple out” as a year-long project, and with the help of Peg Eblen, English and student government instructor, and Smith, the two high school organizations combined.
The “purple out” is preceded by a penny war throughout most of the school buildings in Creston School District.
“The last two years we’ve done penny wars to raise money for the March of Dimes,” said Smith. “March of Dimes is FBLA’s national service partner, so if we can, we try to do something to raise money for them every year.”
Last year, $2,255.01 was raised through the penny war and donations. For the “purple out” event, approximately $1,300 has been raised thus far. That money was raised through sponsorships with Ferrara Candy Company and First National Bank, as well as donations from local businesses.
“We’re having a competition with all the homerooms and grade levels in school buildings,” said Bree Daggett, Creston High School student and FBLA member. “The whole idea of the competition is, if you put in a dime, it’s going to cancel out 10 pennies.”
Students are enticed to participate with prizes: an ice cream cake for the class with the most pennies, and a pizza party for the class with the most money.
“We are also encouraging businesses to have penny wars in their offices,” said Daggett. “So it’s not just for the schools.”
T-shirts will be available and other students will be participating in the “purple out.”
“The Peppers are painting nails,” said Raegen Smith, CHS student and member of FBLA and student government. “There will be face-painting in the commons by the art students.”
March of Dimes
March of Dimes Foundation was founded in 1938, under former President Franklin D. Roosevelt to combat polio. From 1938 to 1955, when the Salk, or polio, vaccine was approved, the foundation spent more than $233 million of fundraised money toward the prevention of polio and care of polio patients.
Since the elimination of polio in the United States, March of Dimes Foundation has changed their focus to prevention of birth defects, arthritis and virus diseases, which then was changed to focusing predominately on birth defects and infant mortality.