Pawhuskans wipe out student meal debt

Robert Smith
Pictured at the school meal fundraiser Saturday are, from left, Diane Basilicato of Buffalo Joe’s Restaurant; Nick Silva, Pawhuska Police Department; Byron Cowan, Pawhuska Public Schools; Lorrie Hennesy, Pawhuska School Resource Officer; Destiny McDaniel, Buffalo Joe’s Restaurant; Chastity Grigg, Buffalo Joe’s Restaurant; and Beverly Moore, Pawhuska Public Schools. Robert Smith/Journal-Capital

Pawhuska took care of its own Saturday, raising more than $1,680 through an Indian Taco dinner at Buffalo Joe’s Restaurant, 403 East Main Street, to help cover the cost of student meals for which families were financially unable to pay.

Beverly Moore, assistant superintendent of Pawhuska Public Schools, said Monday that the Indian Taco dinner raised $1,684.01, and she received another $250 donation Monday, more than covering some $1,700 in meal debt that remained a week ago. The Pawhuska community has helped student families and the school district gradually eliminate thousands of dollars of school breakfast and lunch debt.

Moore clarified Monday afternoon that all debt for student meal accounts more than $20 in arrears had been retired. Pawhuska residents not only paid the admission fee for Indian Taco meals last Saturday — $10 each for adults and $5 each for children 10 years old and younger, they also donated desserts for the event. In addition to those who paid to enjoy the Indian Taco dinner and those who contributed desserts to help make the fundraiser happen, some folks just dropped by to put a few dollars in a donation jar without eating.

Members of the Pawhuska Public Schools staff and officers from the Pawhuska Police Department joined employees of Buffalo Joe’s Restaurant in providing labor for the fundraiser, which was scheduled from 4-7 p.m. Saturday at Buffalo Joe’s.

This was the second notable fundraiser in the past few weeks that has contributed to the elimination of the school meal debt. The school district also received $1,205 of proceeds from a meat pie sale that a group of residents held.

Moore said the community’s display of concern about the school meal debt issue was very impressive.