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Pay It Forward: Colona Middle School

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Higher costs and shrinking budgets can spell disaster for a school district.

One local school is seeing improvements after a parent stepped up to help not only his children but all of the students.

"They have so many more opportunities then they did before," said Athletic Director and teacher Ian Malstrom.
He says one person is making a huge difference.
Malstrom gathered many of the students to help him say thank you, by surprising Greg Keith.
"Mr. Keith on behalf of Ascentra Credit Union and News 8 here is 300 dollars "Pay It Forward" award thank you for all of the hard work you do for our school and our kids.  Sorry to surprise you like that, Thank you"
Malstrom said, "Greg does so much work for the school, he's let so much happen for the kids here, raised so much money.  I estimate he probably volunteers 200-300 hours per year at least."
Greg and his wife run the school concession stand... and have raised more than 10 thousand dollars.
Greg says he simply saw need.
"My boy was playing 6th grade basketball.  We had little kids coming to the concession stand and we would pin their clothes together so their pants wouldn't fall down.  I told Mr. Malstrom something had to be done."
 Money for the concession stand has paid for new uniforms, the banners and signs celebrating championships and a new scoreboard.

Greg said, "our kids got to look good to feel good to play good."

But Malstrom says the fundraising isn't just for athletics.

He said "we go to the state chess tournament now we started a scholastic bowl team.  Its awesome we couldn't do everything we do here without 'em."

Malstrom isn't the only one thankful.
The high fives and smiles from the students say it all.

"Its for the kids, in this day and age with cuts the athletic program the music program the band those are the first things to go. I grew up with that stuff and as long as i can help it I won't ever let it go.  Every kid deserves a chance and thats what were trying to give 'em," said Greg.

If you know of someone doing great things in the community, nominate them for a Pay It Forward Award, by clicking here.