The Chewelah community helped raised nearly $5,000 for Jenkins Middle School Principal Jon Symonds through two separate one-day fundraisers held in the last two weeks.
First, current and former Jenkins Middle School staff held a Chili and Homemade Cinnamon Roll Feed on Jan. 29 at the Chewelah home basketball game at Jenkins High School.
Chewelah School District cooks Sandy Sulgrove and Pam Hergesheimer made 600 cinnamon rolls, which were offered in addition to chili and chili dogs. The food was sold in the cafeteria and the foyer of the gym for those at the school for the game.
However, many supporters came to the school that night to support Symonds and not necessarily to watch basketball.
JMS Secretary Brenda Gregerson said they made about $2,400 with the fundraiser and served almost all the food. She said they were very pleased with the amount of people that participated as they did not know what to expect.
Then, on Sunday, Feb. 10, Mondo’s Italian Restaurant in Chewelah collected around $2,500 with their “To-Go” Spaghetti Feed. The restaurant sold spaghetti for $5 a plate (or $6 with meat sauce) with all proceeds going to the Symonds family.
Zach Richmond, son of restaurant owners Kim and Terry Richmond, said more than 400 meals were sold over the course of 6 hours and the donation jar alone collected more than $1,200. He had helped initiate the original idea for the fundraiser and said it exceeded his expectations.
“We were in a position to help and had the means to help,” Richmond said. Many people also volunteered their time to during the event including JMS staff and JHS students.
Richmond said it was the first time at Mondo’s for some supporters although the restaurant has been open since December.
Lastly, the Chewelah School District is planning a benefit dinner and auction on April 13 to further help Symonds. Call Gregerson, Kathy Wellman, or Jerry Pugh to help or donate auction items.
Jon Symonds was paralyzed in a snowmobiling accident on Christmas Day and is currently undergoing therapy at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Center. He is expected home at the end of February.
Symonds attended the Feb. 8 basketball game in West Valley to watch Chewelah play Chelan in the first round of the bi-district tournament. Several students and staff crowded around him after the game, glad to be able to talk to him as it was the first time many of them have seen their principal since the accident.
For anyone that would still like to help the Symonds family, contact the district office at 685-6800. An account has also been opened for Symonds at Spokane Teachers Credit Union.
By Kellie Trudeau, The Independent Staff
In This Photo: School staff members and friends help serve food on Jan. 29 during the Chili Feed at Jenkins High School.