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Eighth grader beautifies PCHS with bench donation

Eighth grader Katie Smith presents a special donation to PCHS Principal Gary Odom – two metal benches, purchased with proceeds from her annual lemonade stand.
Eighth grader Katie Smith presents a special donation to PCHS Principal Gary Odom – two metal benches, purchased with proceeds from her annual lemonade stand.

By Nicole Burns for the FCT

Stir together an ambitious eighth grader, lemons and a hot summer day for the perfect formula for a beautiful new addition for the Phil Campbell High School campus.

The school was just gifted two new metal benches that now flank the front entrance. The gift comes from eighth grader Katie Smith and her efforts at her annual lemonade stand that raises money for beautification projects at her school.

Smith’s efforts began in third grade at Phil Campbell Elementary school. “After my two friends Edgar and Ethan passed away, I felt the need to give back to the community,” said Smith. She said she had seen news coverage of children raising money to help others by setting up a lemonade stand. That sparked Smith to recruit her family to help her raise money for her school.

“I can’t begin to explain how proud I am of Katie. It makes tears come to my eyes,” said Smith’s grandmother, Martha.

In years past, her efforts contributed to the PCES playground and sending classmates on an educational field trip. Smith said she talked with PCHS Principal Gary Odom about the current beautification needs of the school. “He mentioned we needed benches for students who are waiting for their rides in the afternoons,” said Smith. “I figured that would be a very good idea since there were kids who were just standing around waiting for someone to come pick them up.”

Smith said she’s happy with how the benches turned out, and they’ve garnered many compliments from passers-by. “They’re beautiful. I love them,” said Smith. “I love that people notice them because it was my lemonade stand that got them. I didn’t do it for attention or anything. I did it out of care.”

People can support Smith and her beautification efforts at next year’s Hoedown Festival, June 2016. Just look for her lemonade stand under the Phi Campbell water tower.

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