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Girl Talk
Brandon Valley has some amazing kids ...
By By Jill Meier
Challenger editor

August 20. 2013 9:15AM
As you page through this week’s edition of the Brandon Valley Challenger, you’ll quickly realize this issue is all about the kids – at least some kids that are doing some pretty amazing things.

Take for instance on page 1, Brandon West, a 17-year-old junior at Brandon Valley High School, is following through on his passion for flying. He’s just hours away from receiving his private pilot’s license, and he wants to take that passion into a lifelong career.

I admire Brandon’s determination and who knows, some day he may just be piloting the plane that’s carrying me to my winter vacation destination. I know I’ll be in good hands.

Further into this week’s paper, you’ll read stories about Lucas Chmela, a senior at BVHS who’s helping out the City of Brandon via his Eagle Scout project. Chmela enlisted the help of some fellow Boys Scouts and family members to put a coat of paint on the picnic shelter at one of the city’s pocket parks, Tallgrass Park. The good deed saved the city between $700 and $800 in labor costs. And while that’s just a drop in the bucket in the city’s annual budget, every nickel saved can be directed to another need in the city.

On that same page, you’ll see that Billy Trevillyan, a junior at BVHS, gained $1,000 for his college education. He’s the brainchild behind outfitting a kite with a camera to do surveillance – or spying, if you must. He tackled the project as a sophomore and was recently alerted to his good fortune.

Katherine Keough, who’s just a second grader at Robert Bennis Elementary, had 10 inches of her long locks cut off for a good cause: Locks of Love. It’s the second time within a year she’s donated her hair to Locks of Love, and from the sounds of things, it won’t be the last.

I admire Katherine’s giving spirit and want to know, just what is her mother feeding her that makes her hair grow so quickly!

Sophomore Dawson Kremlacek stepped up to the surgical table this summer at a national youth medical leadership retreat. He was nominated by BVHS teacher last school year because of his knowledge and giving spirit.

If you haven’t made it to the sports section yet, you’ll soon be introduced to a business who inspired its students to go out and do good deeds throughout the summer.
Hoover’s Martial Arts instructor Rob Green, who returned recently from a mission trip in Costa Rica, challenged his students to also “Make an Impact” this summer. The youngsters rose to the occasion, collecting backpacks, school supplies and shoes for less-fortunate kids in the Brandon Valley School District. One young girl went door-to-door collecting canned goods and other donations for the Brandon Area Food Pantry. Another young boy picked up trash around town. Books, beech towels, socks and more were collected for various agencies. Lemonade and cookie stands were set up on street corners to raise funds for a humane society.

You get the picture, I’m sure.

In this age and day, it’s refreshing to report on our local youth doing a variety of good deeds for their neighbors, friends and even complete strangers half way across the world. It’s a wonderful example of how even the youngest of our residents can make an impact.
Community organization needs
It’s time to restock the shelves of the Brandon Area Food Pantry with some popular back-to-school needs this month. Those needs include personal hygiene items (i.e. deodorant, bar soap, women’s feminine products, shampoo, crème rinse), bottled juices, peanut butter, jelly, hot chocolate mix, fruit snacks, saltine crackers and Kleenex.

While always appreciated, the Pantry has a large supply of canned goods on hand. Monetary donations are always appreciated.

Before donating, please check the expiration date, as expired food items cannot be distributed.

The BAFP is located at 406 Main Ave., and is open from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. To donate to the food pantry or for more information, call 582-7001.

The Brandon Lions Club also wants your aluminum cans. Proceeds from the sale of aluminum funds requests to the Club for vision and hearing impairment needs.

The Lions Club collection shed is located in the Sunshine Foods parking lot.

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