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In the photo above are West Bladen High School students with their canned food donations for the 2022 Kiwanis Club of Elizabethtown Canned Food Drive Competition. 

Each year the Kiwanis Club of Elizabethtown challenges East Bladen and West Bladen High Schools to a “Canned Food Drive Competition.” The East and West Bladen Key Clubs and the local Kiwanians set up boxes for canned donations across the county.

The competition ends with the school collecting the most canned food donations being presented with a trophy at an East versus West athletic game.

This year, the Kiwanis Club sweetened the pot for the local schools and pledged to donate $100 to each school if they reached their goals.

In the above slideshow are East Bladen and West Bladen High School students and staff during the 2022 Kiwanis Club Canned Food Drive Competition and photos of them receiving their awards. 

Since 2019, the competition’s inception, the two local high schools have collected over 20,000 canned food donations. On Monday, January 30th, Kiwanis Club members attended the East versus West basketball games at West Bladen High School to present the trophy and a check to each school for meeting the 2022 competition goals. High School Principals Dr. Peggy Hester, with West Bladen, and Ms. Georgia Spaulding with East Bladen accepted the Kiwanis donation checks on behalf of their schools before the girls’ basketball game.

Key Club Sponsors at West Bladen High School, Mrs. Dawn Russ, and Ms. Jill Smith explained how they encouraged participation in this year’s competition. “We had a Dress Down Day for students who brought at least five cans, and we sold raffle tickets, and teachers took the profits and purchased cans.”

Mrs. Jennifer Hair, the East Bladen Key Club sponsor, said their students were encouraged by teachers to bring donations to receive extra credit in different classes.

Both schools asked other school clubs to join in on the competition. The SGA and HOSA high school clubs were integral to the collections’ success.

The 2022 competition winners and reigning champs, West Bladen High School, collected over 6,000 items for donation.

Mrs. Russ said, “On behalf of the Key Club and SGA, we appreciate the opportunity to participate in this year’s Annual Canned Food Drive.”

Dr. Lisa Bryan, the Kiwanis Club of Elizabethtown President, said, “We are amazed at the participation in this year’s competition. Thank you to everyone who donated food. The students and staff at both schools are inspiring.”

Both schools continued to collect food for the local food banks after the competition was over to help their community. The donations are delivered to local food banks.

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