IMS lends hands

Register Reporter

The mission at Iola Middle School remains to instill in its students the basics of a solid education. In recent years, students have become just as well versed in charity and helping others.
In that vein, the school has a pair of fund raisers in store next week.
Students are inviting the community to ride along Oct. 10 on their “Bike Ride For a Cause,” a 10- or 20-mile bicycle ride along the Prairie Spirit Trail.
And the IMS Spirit Squad, under the guidance of Billie Collins, is raising funds for breast cancer awareness. T-shirts are being sold for $8 apiece to benefit Friends For Life Foundation, which assists women diagnosed with the disease. Shirts will be sold through Thursday.
Both events have been popular in the past, Collins and IMS Principal Jack Stanley said.
Last year, Collins and the Spirit Squad sold shirts for a local breast cancer sufferer. “But instead of doing it for just one person, we figured it would be a good idea to help all breast cancer sufferers,” Collins said.
Collins pointed to a stunning statistic she learned after last year’s fund raiser: nearly 1 in 8 women will have to deal with breast cancer in some capacity in their lifetimes. “It was a staggering figure,” she said.
The unisex pink shirts will be worn for Spirit of Pink Day, Oct. 21. Iola schools that day will release pink balloons at 2:30 p.m. as a sign of support. In addition, local hair salons Wranglers, Bella Donna, Salon Nyne, Wild Hare and The Tannery are selling pink hair extensions throughout October. All proceeds will benefit Friends For Life, Collins said. Bella Donna will also offer pink nails, massage specials, manicures and pedicures throughout October with proceeds will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Order forms for the unisex shirts can be picked up at the middle school, or by calling Collins at (913) 683-5132. Her voice mail will answer “Edna,” but the number is correct, Collins said.

THE IDEA for the bike ride came about following a walk-a-thon the school did last spring along the Prairie Spirit Trail, Stanley said. “It was fun, but we had a lot of kids ask if they could ride bikes.”
The bike ride will begin at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 10 at the Iola trailhead. Participants have two options: a 10-mile trek to Carlyle and back; or a 20-mile jaunt to Colony and back.
Proceeds from the bike ride go to a number of charitable causes, Stanley said.
“One year, we donated money to kids in Seneca, who lost their school to a fire,” he said. “We’ve bought Thanksgiving food baskets.”
Leftover funds from the walk-a-thon have been used since the start of the school year to buy shoes, clothes and eyeglasses for local students in need.
Students will appeal to the community to help the cause financially. Donation forms will be printed in Tuesday’s Register.
And Stanley said anyone is invited to ride along.
“It should be a fun event,” he said. “We’ll probably have a hot dog feed when we get back to Iola.”
More importantly, events like these remind students that others are in need, Stanley said. He noted some schools in Atlanta have been badly damaged in recent floods, leaving some students without a place to learn.
“There are a lot of struggling people in the world,” he said. “This is one way we can help.”