Litchfield school rallied for bucks

Thanks to a special program funded by U.S. Bank, Litchfield Public Schools has made a significant stride in acquiring the funding for a new playground at their school. And the elementary students let out squeals of delight when the pictures of the new playground were revealed. During a presentation ceremony Monday afternoon, Litchfield school was presented with a check for $2,500 from U.S. Bank. The cash reward was the result of the school winning the bank’s “Rally 4 Reward$” contest. The Rally 4 Reward$ program is funded by U.S. Bank and promoted by the Nebraska SchoolActivities Association (NSAA). The program allows people the opportunity to nominate theirfavorite Nebraska high school to win a cash reward from U.S. Bank. The program began Jan. 28 and ended March 23. One high school in each of NSAA's six designated classes was awarded $2,500 for earning the most points. The competition was between schools of similarsize. Winners were posted on the NSAA website April 3. Litchfield High School won in Class D-2, steadily rising from third place to beat out Lawrence-Nelson and Spalding Academy. The contest focused on online voting for schools. A school earned 1 point for each nomination; bonus offers included 50 additional points for printing off the nomination form and turning it in at a U.S. Bank, 100 points if that person had an account at the bank and turned in the form, and200 points if a person opened a new account at the bank and turned in the form. Litchfield school's project was spearheaded by Judy Tyma and Jan Kirkpatrick. Through posters, personal contact, posts on Facebook and by sending out e-mail messages, word was spread about the contest. The students became involved, as did alumni and several local businesses. The process had a ripple effect as new contacts were made; they in turn encouraged relatives and friends to join the cause. The presentation of the check was made even more meaningful by the fact that local native Julia Bower had the privilege of making the presentation. Julia is an Ansley native and graduate of Ansley High School, and her mom, Kathy Dobesh, is a teacher at Litchfield Public Schools. Jan Kirkpatrick, who worked diligently on the project for the school, talked about how difficult it was not knowing for sure what the outcome was. “It was like finishing the game without being able to see the score until 10 days later,” she said. What the school planned to do with the winnings had remained a mystery from the students until the ceremony Monday, when Principal Jeff Smith turned around a poster to reveal pictures of the new playground the school intends to purchase. Clearly, the younger student body approved of the spending decision! “I am just thrilled to get to be part of this, and I know my boss will be very pleased with what the money is going to be used for,” said Bower. “In this day and age it is difficult to run quality programs without adequate funding,” says NSAA Executive Director Rhonda Blanford-Green. “Rally 4 Reward$ offers a fun, interactive way for anyone who supports their favorite high school to earn money for those activity programs.” Principal Smith and Mrs. Kirkpatrick thanked the community and everyone who got involved with this project. “We have no way of knowing how far and wide this project actually was,” says Kirkpatrick. “What we do know is that we have tremendous support for our school from people near and far.”