Students support food pantry, local family

WELLSBURG – Students at Brooke High School have been very busy in their efforts to help not only a local food pantry but also the Follansbee family who lost their their daughter and home in an Oct. 11 natural gas explosion.

Through a school food drive, students collected 6,870 nonperishable food items and $200 in monetary donations for the Follansbee R.E.A.C.H. Program, a local food pantry that serves Follansbee area families in need throughout the year.

The school also raised about $10,000 for the Mozingo family through a variety of fundraisers. They included days on which students paid $1 to wear a hat, normally a violation of the school’s dress code; collections conducted at athletic events; and the sale of camouflage bracelets in memory of Hannah Mozingo.

A pupil at Follansbee Middle School with a strong interest in hunting, Mozingo was killed in the explosion. She is survived by her parents, George and Tracy,; and brother and sister, Tyler and Haley, both students at the high school.

Leaders of the school’s junior class teamed with Alexander Archery to hold an archery shoot benefiting the family also. Owned by Brooke alumnus Rob Alexander, the Weirton business includes an indoor archery range.

The food drive is an annual tradition for the school, with various prizes awarded to the top participants.

This year the homeroom in each of the school’s four grades that collected the most items were treated to breakfast at the Follansbee McDonald’s or lunch at the Follansbee Sheetz, with the overall top homeroom receiving both.

Individual students also were rewarded with a $50 gift card to one of a variety of businesses.

The top homerooms were the seniors in Nathan Marshall’s homeroom, collecting 2,279 food items; Carla Stone’s junior homeroom, 350; Jim Rowing’s sophomore homeroom, 422; and Mike Moore’s freshman homeroom, 1,312.

The top individual student supporters were Sara Coen, who collected 500; freshman Garrett Finsley, 301; senior Noah Teaff, 287; Kai Bowers, a child at the high school’s preschool site, 212; and junior Kylie Toner, 150.

Shute said the incentives are icing on the cake for the students, who are eager to support a variety of causes.

She said each month a schoolwide effort is devoted to a certain cause. In October the school raised $4,000 for vision programs aiding seniors and others in need and supported by Lions International.

The Mozingos were the cause for November, though students and staff have reached out to the family since the tragedy occurred.