Dunlap's Verville Leads Charge For Harvey Relief

Extra Effort: Franny Verville

DUNLAP, Ill. - Dunlap cross country runner Franny Verville is used to winning.

But when she first saw footage of what Hurricane Harvey was doing to Texas she was a loss.

"Usually in times of crisis like this, your school always tries to do something," Verville said. "I hadn't heard anything. We should probably start something."

So Verville, the student council president, got permission to start a contest. The third hour class that raised the most money, won a pizza party.

The contest raised $10,000 in 50 minutes. But the fired-up student body wasn't finished.

It started collecting donations for storm victims. And the donations poured in.

"I think America stepped up to the plate, just in small town Illinois," said Verville, a distance runner on the Eagles state championship girls track team. "I'm blown away. It puts your faith in humanity back, a little bit."

It took about eight hours of collecting donations for the school to fill it 55-foot marching band trailer with goods for hurricane victims. The truck will be driven to Houston this week.

"I had students come up to me last week saying "Mr. Adreon, we've been here four years and we've never felt so much school pride," said principal Scott Adreon. "For me that's what it's all about. Our kidsunderstand they can make a difference."

Making a difference a thousand miles away.

"Being a part of a team is a big deal," Verville said. "Your school is your team, in a sense. It's your family. It's home. I'm grateful."

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