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Montgomery student donates birthday money to SPCA

By Staff | Jan 17, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED Lexus Gebhart, right, asked for birthday money to donate food and toys to the Lycoming SPCA. Students rallied together with Gebhart to help make a bigger donation. Students Justin Figard, back, Katie Webster, left, and Gebhart are pictured with donations for the Lycoming County SPCA.

MONTGOMERY – One student, Lexus Gebhart, wanted to donate her birthday money to the Lycoming County SPCA and through her act of kindness her classmates and teachers at Montgomery rallied together to make a bigger impact.

Gebhart and Randi Jo Preston, special education teacher for Montgomery School District, and Preston’s dog recently dropped off the donated items to the Lycoming County SPCA.

“I have all the toys that I want and cats and other animals need help,” Gebhart said when asked why she wanted to donate her birthday money to the SPCA. “A lot of cats and dogs don’t have food and the SPCA would need the food for the animals they take care of.”

Gebhart talked with Preston and her fifth-grade teacher, Peter Ruhl, about how she asked for birthday money this year to donate toys and food to the local SPCA, Preston and Ruhl said.

“This was the first time I heard of her wanting to help animals but I’m not surprised based on her kind personality,” Ruhl said.

Gebhart wanted to start a food drive for the SPCA, Ruhl said. Ruhl also had the idea that the school could help make the food drive bigger, helping with Gebhart’s birthday wish, Preston added. From there, Gebhart pitched the idea to “the other fifth-grade classes.”

Once Gebhart’s fellow students found out about her idea they wanted to help by bringing in items to be donated, Preston said. Two students, Justin Figard and Katie Webster, pitched in to help by working with Gebhart to make a stack of posters, Ruhl added.

“I was excited to see their enthusiasm,” Ruhl said. “It’s heart warming knowing that students want to do things like this, but just as heart warming knowing others are willing to jump on board to assist.”

When starting out, Gebhart had a $30 gift to donate and it grew to be a bigger donation because Gebhart cared for something bigger than herself, Ruhl said.

As a teacher it’s important to challenge students academically but also encourage students to build a “positive sense of community inside and outside of our classroom,” Ruhl said.