Beverly Moore, assistant superintendent of Pawhuska Public Schools, said Monday that organizers of a fundraiser scheduled this Saturday to raise money to cover unpaid school meal expenses are now seeking some donated desserts.


If you would like to donate a dessert, call Moore at the school district’s administrative office at 918-287-1265 (this is the general Pawhuska school district number, so key in a “6” for the administrative office), or drop the dessert by Buffalo Joe’s Restaurant after 2 p.m. Saturday.


The fundraiser is to be an Indian Taco Dinner, held from 4-7 p.m. Saturday at Buffalo Joe’s Restaurant, 403 E. Main, Pawhuska. Admission will be $10 for adults and $5 for children aged 10 years and younger. Moore said community response to the attempt to wipe out school meal debt for students in Pawhuska Public Schools has been impressive.


“It’s been a great community response,” she said. The school district had more than $5,000 of unpaid meal expenses for the 2018-19 year, and it has been collecting on that debt a bit at a time. Tuesday before last, Moore said the current figure for unpaid meal debt was $3,223.59. As a result of a community meat pie sale that brought in a donation of $1,205, and other donations, the current school meal debt figure as of Tuesday this week was about $1,700, Moore said.


“It changes by the day,” Moore said of the debt figure, explaining that the improvement has been steady.


She said community reaction has gone beyond just paying off the old debt. One person essentially adopted a student, offering to pay for meals for that student for the rest of the school year, Moore said. Another person made a donation in memory of a retired Pawhuska teacher who passed away, and expressed a desire to make further donations in memory of that teacher, Moore said.


School employees and first-responders have agreed to provide labor for the Saturday fundraiser. Moore has taken on the cause of resolving the school lunch debt issue for Pawhuska Public Schools. The school district provides food to students even if their families have fallen behind on payments, but money to cover the meal charges has to come from somewhere eventually.