POLAND SPRING – March 18 was a “Red Letter” day for the Auburn/Lewiston Chapter, American Red Cross, when it was presented a check for $16,500 from the tsunami relief fund-raising efforts of the students of the lan School.

Amy Guimond, director of disaster relief for the local Red Cross chapter, told the students it was the largest tsunami relief donation the chapter has received. The check was presented at a school assembly.

State Rep. John Robinson and State Sens. Lois Snowe-Mello and Bill Diamond took part. The students were told their efforts will be recognized in the next few weeks by the State Legislature.

During the winter vacation, like many other young people around the world, the students at lan watched the news and learned of the devastation caused by the tsunami. The students expressed a concern about what had happened and wanted to help.

They put their heads together and decided they would ask everyone they know to sponsor them in walking or running three or five miles in what came to be known as the “Race for Relief.”

They set a goal of $10,000 and, after a great deal of research, decided the money would be donated to the American Red Cross. The students wrote letters asking for support.

The lan employees, teachers and staff members solicited their own family and friends for donations.

The school’s vendors came through as well. The students pledged to donate their monthly bottle drive money. Before long, the money started coming.

The 103 lan students held the Race for Relief on Feb. 3. Every student took part in the run or walk along with many of the teachers and staff.

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