Craig Middle School seventh-graders Lacey Wiseman, left, and Caroline Riley kneel by what hopefully will be the site of an outdoor volleyball net within the next year. The two of them have raised more than $500 out of a goal of $2,000 to complete the project.

Photo by Andy Bockelman

Craig Middle School seventh-graders Lacey Wiseman, left, and Caroline Riley kneel by what hopefully will be the site of an outdoor volleyball net within the next year. The two of them have raised more than $500 out of a goal of $2,000 to complete the project.

Craig Middle School students raising funds for volleyball net

How to help

For more information on how to assist the students of Craig Middle School in fundraising, call 970-824-3289.

— Right now, the northeast corner of the field between Craig Middle School and Sandrock Elementary School looks no different from the rest of the parcel of land. Come next year, it could be entirely different if two students have anything to say about it.

CMS seventh-graders Caroline Riley and Lacey Wiseman have been working to get an outdoor volleyball net installed on the school’s property.

Riley said they first came up with the project during summer vacation and brought the idea to school administrators Joe Libby and Jill Hafey, who told them to run with it.

Most recently, Riley and Wiseman put together a dance for their fellow students last Friday that brought in about $500. In fact, between tickets and concessions, the event raised more than $1,500, but a lot of the funds went toward expenses like the food and the music provided by DJ Justin Folley.

Still, an envelope full of cash was very encouraging for the two after all the organizing involved.

“It was pretty exciting to see all that money,” Wiseman said.

Riley and Wiseman split their additional profits with the canned food drive effort currently in action at CMS, which runs through mid-November. Riley also sold off leftover cookies and other items — some of which were donated by The Memorial Hospital — to students to add another $35 to the total.

Plans for a bigger bake sale and a holiday dance in December also are in the works, and although they would be willing to accept donations from the community, they like the idea of fundraising by creating events that will be beneficial and fun for a lot of people.

Riley said they would like to reach the goal of $2,000 for the project by February. The cost includes metal poles that would need to be anchored to the ground with cement and a net specifically designed for outdoor use.

Wiseman said the desire for an outdoor net came from this being the first year the two of them began playing organized volleyball.

“It was something we really enjoyed, so we wanted to have something for extra practice time,” she said.

Although games of basketball, soccer and football easily can be played outside at CMS, the most that can be done with a volleyball is just to bump it around in a circle, Riley said.

And a net in place outside during school hours would serve more than just their needs.

“The gym classes could use it, and so could the kids from Sandrock, and we thought about getting some badminton rackets, too,” Riley said. “We talked about tennis, but that wouldn’t really work on the grass. It's something kids after us can use and maybe even our kids can play with it someday.”

The corner of the field, which will need to be checked to make sure the new structure doesn’t disturb any plumbing or electrical wiring, also was picked so it will be out of the way during CMS’s seventh- and eighth-grade football practices.

CMS secretary Beth Gilchrist has been assisting Riley and Wiseman in keeping track of the money they’ve raised. Although students have made requests for similar things in the past, few have made the effort themselves, she said.

“They had a need, and they went through the proper channels to solve the problem,” Gilchrist said. “Instead of just saying, ‘I wish we had one of these,’ they say, ‘Well, why don’t we get one of these?’ and they took it upon themselves to do it. I’m impressed and comforted to know that our future’s in their hands.”

Andy Bockelman can be reached at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

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