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St. Bede, Hall students compete to help fight hunger

Can-do spirit raises over 8,000 canned goods

SPRING VALLEY — The Hall Township Food Pantry had the deck (or cans, in this case) stacked in its favor last week.

More than 8,000 canned goods that were used in a can-stacking design competition between Hall High School and St. Bede Academy on Jan. 5 were donated to the food pantry.

Students from each school who participated in the “Can” Do Good Competition designed their school’s mascot and stacked cans over a period of six hours before the Hall-St. Bede basketball game that Friday night at Hall.

Community members then voted for the best can sculpture through financial donations that, along with the canned food, were given to the food pantry.

The event also raised awareness of hunger in the community.

At St. Bede, students, faculty and staff all got into the act.

Fr. Ronald Margherio, St. Bede chaplain, spearheaded the idea and took to Facebook to ask for can donations.

“It was important to let people know that specific cans were needed to complete our design, and I felt the more cans we collected before Christmas break, the better off we’d be,” Margherio said.

Faculty members Rich Cummings, Colleen Cox and Rick Fess put their heads together to help with the mathematical model concepts, structural methods and construction, which resulted in a design that required more than 4,200 cans.

Early on, students Bailey Hamer, Katrina Ramer and Madeline Vaessen studied the design and worked out structural concerns. There were a few “practice” meetings where students organized the cans into the following categories — color, brand and “unstackable.”

The students also practiced stacking the cans to make sure everything they had worked out on paper would actually allow them to stack the cans eight feet high without falling.

To meet the requirements for the competition, both schools had six hours to use the cans to construct their mascot in a 10-by-10-foot square with the structural measurements being eight feet tall, 10 feet wide and six feet deep. In addition to cans, they were also allowed to use tape, wire and cardboard (in between the cans) for support.

The can structures were judged on the following characteristics: structural ingenuity and crowd favorite. St. Bede won the competition and took home both trophies.

The full crew of St. Bede students who helped consisted of Bailey Hamer, Katrina Ramer, Madeline Vaessen, Owen Epsel, Bradley Beckendorf, Frederick Fess, Harrison Fess, Jacob Theesfeld, Jordan Kramel, Paige Kramel, Isaac Janssen, Levi Bland and Logan Griggs.

Among the Hall students involved were Edith Gutierrez, Hallee Heredia, Hannah Parente, McKenzie Delaney, Brian Fuentes, Matt Briddick, Cassidy Jablonski, Lauren Bulak, Carlo Gutierrez and Gia Pozzi.

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