Update: Anselmo-Merna School Completes Fundraiser for Ranchers

By: 1011 Central Nebraska News Email
By: 1011 Central Nebraska News Email

Anselmo-Merna Public School students raised a total of $12,302 for ranchers devastated by the October blizzard. The donations will be sent Friday.

The students did bake sales, and even went door to door asking for donations. The 7-12 graders are also writing letters to the ranchers.

It is estimated tens of thousands of cattle in South Dakota are dead after the October blizzard.

The school raised funds for the cattle ranchers who lost money because of the storm. Anselmo-Merna Public School began the fundraiser after one of the Social Studies teachers wanted to help people she knew needed it.

"I knew people who were directly affected and how unfortunate and catastrophic this really was," said Cierra Anderson, the teacher who started the fundraiser.

The storm happened at the worst time for the ranchers, just before the season paid off.

"Mentally would be devastating I think, just the whole mental aspect of it of going out and everything you worked your whole life for just taken away from you with a storm," said Jeff Bartak, a local cattle rancher who graduated from Anselmo-Merna School.

Cierra Anderson saw this as an excellent way to make the kids learn and hopefully raise $6,000.

"The kids aren't going to remember some worksheet. They're not going to remember some worksheet. But 20, 30 years from now, these kids are going to look back and they're going to remember when South Dakota had the worst blizzard in their history and their little school in Nebraska raised however much we can raise to try and help them out," said Anderson.

Those involved with the fundraiser said it's also important due to how close the blizzard was and how those here in Nebraska could have been just as negatively affected as the cattle ranchers in South Dakota.

Bartak said on the potential of a similar loss, "Oh, I'm sure it could. In '05 we had 18-22 inches of snow and 70 mile per hour wind blew all the pivots over and everything through here and there was a lot of people that lost cattle then, so yea it's always a concern."

Ms. Anderson also made the children realize the seriousness by relating it to their own lives.

"This could be us, we're five hours away from here. You could go home from school tonight and see your mom or your dad breaking down because they don't know how their going to make ends meet," she said of what she taught her students.

The fundraiser is only days in and has raised over $1,000. It will continue for another month.

If you would like to contribute you can make a check out to Anselmo-Merna Public School with "Rancher Relief Fund" written in the memo line and send it to the school at 750 N. Conway St. Merna, NE 68856.

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