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Students raise money for cabin


Youngsters in Hays had a hand in helping with the renovation and restoration of Higley Cabin in Smith County, known as the birthplace of the Kansas state song, "Home on the Range."

In a student council service project at the end of the school year, students at Washington Elementary School in Hays gathered $70 on a Friday in May to donate to the effort.

Renovation work on the cabin, which celebrated the 140th anniversary of its construction near Athol in 1872, is scheduled to begin later this year.

Nancy Stramel, student council sponsor at Washington, said she received an email from Principal Allen Park, who had been contacted by the Kansas Sampler Foundation.

The email had informed Park the Ellen Rust Living Trust in Smith County was sponsoring a fundraiser called Coins for the Cabin, asking youngsters from the area to participate.

Stramel said the student council asked fellow students to bring change from home on a set day, and every class had a donation of some kind, led by $24.22 from second-grader Stanna Flinn.

She said it was a win-win situation for all involved. In addition to learning the value of giving to a good cause, there was some math involved, too, for members of the student council.

"You should have seen them counting change from those Ziploc bags," she said.