Doing something positive for the community earned students in the Central Valley School District a visit from a famous clown.
Ronald McDonald visited both Progress and Adams elementary schools for their hard work in collecting pop tops for the Ronald McDonald House. All of the elementary schools in the district participated in the competition.
Districtwide, students collected 1,150 pounds of pop tops, enough to pay for 30 nights at the Ronald McDonald House. The nonprofit organization provides housing and support for families of children undergoing medical treatment at local hospitals.
“Thank you for doing such a wonderful job,” Ronald McDonald told students at Adams.
Doug Cooper, an Adams parent, led a pop top drive at Adams for a few years and approached the district last year to challenge all elementary students to collect the small levers used to open cans of soda. This is the second year of the annual challenge.
Cooper said he weighed the collections from each school and divided the number of pounds by student population. This gave him the weight of pop tops per student.
“Last year it was very close,” Cooper said. It was so close Ronald McDonald decided to visit both Progress and Adams.
Students had no idea who their visitor was going to be when they gathered in the Adams gym for an assembly Friday. Cooper and Principal Jeff Dufresne joked that Ronald McDonald was there and displayed the traveling trophy with the likeness of the iconic clown to the crowd.
But he really was there. He told jokes, performed magic tricks and involved the students in his entire act, which revolved around good character traits – responsibility, respect, trustworthiness and fairness.
He referred to a package he was expecting, wondering about how big it might be. But then he explained it didn’t matter what size the package was.
“What is on the inside is really most important,” he said.