Good behavior, kindness and effort do not go unnoticed at Margaret R. Brown Elementary School.
In 2015, the school implemented a golden ticket program to reward students for their deeds and actions and to encourage all students to strive to be their best selves.
Thanks to the Seymour Evening Lions Club, this year’s golden ticket prizes are special and are making students work even harder at a chance to win.
At the beginning of the school year, Lions Club member Ruel West visited Brown to talk to Principal Tony Hack about a project that would involve Lions members making wooden toys for the school.
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He brought some of the toys with him as examples, including cars, airplanes and dinosaurs.
West also is a member of the Central Indiana Woodworkers group, which donates at least 10,000 handmade wooden toys each year to hospitals and other organizations around the state that work with young children.
The toys were a hit with Brown students, who couldn’t wait to get their hands on one. So West promised to make more and bring them back with the goal of giving them to golden ticket winners after every nine weeks.
In late October, West and fellow Lion Bob McElhany came back with boxes of the handmade wooden toys and handed them out during a special presentation. McElhany helped West make the toys, which were funded by the Seymour Evening Lions Club.
A total of 60 students in kindergarten through fifth grade received a toy.
One student said getting a handmade wooden toy was a treat like getting a present for Christmas.
Another said they didn’t have any toys like it, so they would play with it a lot.
West and McElhany said they loved seeing the kids smile when they chose a toy and were impressed that the students came to thank them and shake their hands.
“I’m glad we can do it,” West said.
He hopes more people in the community will be interested in making the toys and joining the Seymour Evening Lions Club.
“Our members are getting older, and we’d like to get some younger people involved to help us keep the club and our work going,” West said.
Hack said he was proud of the students who earned a toy and told them to keep working hard.
“You could tell they were excited and appreciated it,” Hack said.
He also said he appreciated the Seymour Evening Lions Club for taking the project on and making a lot of kids happy.
Golden ticket winners were: Kindergarten: Ryli Lowe, Serenity Hanson, Millie Wilson, Layla Neri Perez, Destiny Williams, Taleigh Kirkham, Victor Toins, Ava Ison Lawson, Kayleann Cervantes, Greg Niewedde; First grade: Charity Williams, Camila Ortiz, Hunter Galus, Paisleigh Thurston, Amarion Soria, Jalyn Huddleston, Sylas Cook, Dylan Arrona, Korbin McCreary, Maeson Vires; Second grade: Lilly McKinney, Juana Gaspar Gaspar, Sebastian Nieves, Mary Donahue Jones, Felipe Miguel Pedor, Anniston Rennekamp, Mateo Mateo-Nicolas, Ethan Williams, Briar Marin, Aaron Lopez Garcia; Third grade: Maria Francisco, Alex Money, Nikita Cox, Olivia Wilp, Caden Rose, Kayne Morris, Axel Amador, Janel Sanchez, Mallory Cockerham, Skyler Boling; Fourth grade: Efrain Gaspar, Grace Smith, Brianna Gomez, Kaydee Ruddick, Yuleimy Ruiz, Rayne Booker, Paulton Rennekamp, Cassidy Pack, Carson Delph, Sasha Salinas; Fifth grade: Josiah Bingham, Kevin Scott, Stephan Harris, Valeria Morales, James Culvahouse, Tony Mateo Nicolas, Kinberlin Monzon, Faith Ledbetter, Chris Williams, David Martin.