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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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December 23, 2009     Hays Free Press
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December 23, 2009
 

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SALES TAX 2009 A 2009 report shows a drop of more than $205 million below the same month in 2008. - Page 1D Hays Free Press December 23, 2009 Page 3B Pullin' for Ty A million pull tabs collected to benefit ailing child BY JIM CULLEN news@haysfreepress.com H emphill Elemen- tary School on Friday 1 I celebrated collecting one million pull tabs for Ty Dahlstrom, a student at Elm Grove Elementary. The project began two years ago as a simple exercise in visually illustrat- ing numeric place values, said Hemphill Elementary principal Paige Collier. Led by since-retired teacher ]ana Rushing, about 275,000 tabs had been tallied after a year of collection. Then the project took off when it was linked to a cause - the need for local Support of Ty's visits to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Ty has been diagnosed with a rare liver and kidney disorder. : The tally dramatically icreased by the end of the last school year, as Rushing retired. Determined not to see the project fall short, she handed the project to Emily Herrin, who has seen the project accelerate to a finish the past few weeks. 2 "I've been getting bags of flabs from all over the district nd the community," Her- in said on celebration day, oting that the bags were equently addressed simply io "the tabs lady." She also gays that in recent days she fbund herself going to weigh irge accumulations of tabs, only to return to her room to find that even more had just een delivered. z "I could have been weigh- ilag them all day long," Her- On said with the satisfaction that comes with a heartfelt job well done. Assessing the experience, PHOTO BY JIM CULLEN It's the long-awaited moment of truth as young Ty Dahlstrom, with the assistance of his dad, Scott, pours in the final thousand tabs to hit the 1,000,000 mark in front of an assembly of the entire Hemphill Elementary student body. The pouring of the final thousand tabs was the exciting culmination of the Hawks' drive to collect a million tabs to help toward Ty's stays at RonaJd McDonald Houses. she says "it has been such an amazing example of a com- munity coming together." Collier recalls the simple origins of the drive and mar- vels at what it became. "We' got the passion to help another human being, and the cause helped usto learn something greater. I sincerely thank the commu- nity for coming together to help us reach our goal." And how did Ty feel about all the hoopla? With the forthright nature that is his alone, he proclaims his sincere appreciation to the Hawks and the others who contributed. "They've really got good hearts, that they could all do this together." PHOTO BY JIM CULLEN Santa brings books A visit from Santa to Camino Real Elementary was magically arranged by disabled Marine veteran Antonio Zavala, while local insurance agent Hank Gerdes helped the big man in red give a book to every student. Enjoying one of the day's many special moments are (top to bottom) Gerdes, Santa, and Camino Real kindergarten student Adrian Sanchez. Marine's surprise return home Sergeant Jeffery L. Raymond, Jr., returned from duty with the 1st Bat- talion 5th Marines in Afghanistan this week to surprise his daughter Destiny, a Tobias kindergarten student in Robin Moore's class. Sgt. Raymond, his wife Vanessa and mother Yvonne Raymond were serenaded with a special song from the visiting Wallace Middle School Choir. Enjoying the moment at the TES marquee are (left to right) Raymond's mother, Yvonns Raymond, his wife Vanessa, Sgt. Raymond and daughter Destiny. PHOTOS BY JIM CULLEN SCHOOL BRIEFS School's out for winter break Hays CISD offices will re- main closed for the holidays until Monday, lan. 4. Offices re-open that day and teach- ers will be in staff develop- merit, followed by a Tuesday, Jan. 5, preparation day. Stu- dents return at normal class times Wednesday, Jan. 6. Lehman Choir on News8 The Lehman High School Chamber Choir was one of two Central Texas high school choirs filmed for the annual News 8 Christmas Special. The Lobo choir will be on at the top of each hour on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Extended hours at Hemphill Pre-K StartingWednesday. Jan. 6, Hemphill Elementary pre-kindergarten classes will be extended 20 minutes per day to increase the number of instructional minutes, complementing a shift to those students eating meals in their classroom. "More time to read, write and par- ticipate in learning activi- ties," Principal Paige Collier says, noting up to 15 min- utes saved on transitions to and from the cafeteria. Lego grants The FIRST Lego League programs at Wallace, Barton, Chapa and Dahlstrom mid- die schools each received a grant for $1,000 bythe KDK-Harman Foundation, an Austin family foundation. The foundation's mission is to break the cycle of pov- erty through Central Texas education. The organization awards grants annually to non-profits and schools that align with its mission. A particular emphasis is given to education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Books trom Santa Camino Real Elementary students all received a book during pre-holiday ac- tivities that also included a visit with Santa. Local State Farm agent Hank Gerdes worked some holiday magic with a contact at Half Price Books in Dallas and addi- tional assistance came from ERA Millennium Realty's David Aston (his track to go get the books), First Choice Storage of Buda (a place to temporarily store them), and the HCISD transpor- tation department (help getting books delivered). Gerdes was able to secure a large number of books for Science Hall Elementary, as well. efbrt More than 75 families were "adopted" by Hays CISD employees and local civic organizations and churches in the annual Angel le holiday help ef- fort. Seton Medical Center Hays, Hope & Love for Kids, the City of Kyle and Danny Webber.Realty added their efforts to those entities' work. From shoes to coats, bicycles to toys and gifts of food, these families of dis- trict students were assisted. Angie Mendez, the dimict's director of develop- ment and community part- n " " " erships, said We were very concerned when we first received the list of families. These are not small families and their needs are great. But everyone came through and we've brought 'angels' to each one. Hays High School's Leo io, u_r/oei 2nemaoersIup of Kerri Espinoza and with the assistance of students, teachers and staff, helped more than 200 students from eight schools in the disu-ict. b I