BCMS leadership class gather 145,000 pennies

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Photo by MANDI BATEMAN Teacher Kelly Hinthorn with her BCMS leadership class, raised $1,450 to help the Grandview Cemetery with a new water line.

BONNERS FERRY — Jim Thompson has been dedicated to bringing the old part of the Grandview Cemetery back to its old glory. It has taken many hours of hard work, from him and volunteers, but what really needs to be done is a replacement of the old water line.

The old water line is deteriorating and full of rust which clogs the sprinklers. A donation account is set up at Mountain West Bank under Old Grandview Cemetery Water Line. They have about $17,000 in the account and need around $60,000 to complete the project.

Recognizing the need, the Boundary County Middle School Leadership Class stepped up. They organized a penny drive, and on Feb. 5, teacher Kelly Hinthorn and her class presented Thompson with a check for $1,450 — proving that even a penny can make a difference.

Thompson was surprised by the amount of money raised, and also impressed with the students.

“I think it is awesome. I take back all the things that I thought about kids. I thought all young kids were little snobs, but they are not like me — I am a big snob. These kids are great,” said Thompson. “If they grow up the way that they are now, I don’t think that we have to worry about our future. It is in good hands.”

The leadership class student are involved with many different events and projects throughout the school year, both to better themselves and to better the community that they live in. Their projects include things like the Boco backpack program, and small wooden hearts that can be given to people who are having a bad day.

“Every morning there is a group that stands at the doorway and greets everyone that walks in the front door,” said Hinthorn about one of their projects.

For Thompson, having the cemetery chosen for one of their projects is a touching experience.

“I went to school here in Bonners — especially in high school, during our PE classes we would always run up to the cemetery. The old side of the cemetery was always green, I mean really beautiful,” Thompson explained to the students. “Through the years, as it got filled up, they started a new part, and they keep it watered and the old part was kind of left behind and it looks really bad.”

He also encouraged the students to come to the cemetery and volunteer during the summer.

“If you all get bored in the summer — bring a rake,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun. Nice and quiet. Nobody gets on you.”

For now, the Grandview Cemetery is one step closer to bringing the old section back, thanks to one man, a class full of students, and a whole lot of pennies.

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