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Fill The Dome ramps up media effort food for needy

Fargo-Moorhead student leaders ramped up their efforts to fill the Fargodome with food for the needy by holding a news conference and radio talk show session Monday to encourage the public to participate.

Metro Area Student Leaders

Fargo-Moorhead student leaders ramped up their efforts to fill the Fargodome with food for the needy by holding a news conference and radio talk show session Monday to encourage the public to participate.

The Metro Area Student Council Ambassadors urged area residents to donate food or money for Fill The Dome. Up to now, the group has concentrated on organizing students and collecting food at schools.

"This isn't just for kids to do, this is for everyone," said Emma Johnson, student council president at Fargo South High School.

Area residents can send donations to school with their children, drop off items at the dome next Monday and Tuesday, or donate money online at www.fillthedome.org to buy perishable goods.

There are monetary prizes for the elementary, middle and high school levels for the schools that fill their dome space best, said Alex Windjue, student body president at West Fargo High School. Each school then picks a charity to receive the prize, he said.

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Students at North Dakota State University and Concordia College are also participating, he said.

The competition between schools has been fierce but fun, Windjue said.

"I know that Oak Grove claims to have 6,000 pounds of food," he said, but West Fargo's Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center filled all of its boxes and student groups from the high school quietly held a Halloween door-to-door collection that took in 1,000 pounds of food.

"We're not exactly telling secrets," when it comes to winning, he said.

Group members met with the Fargo Moorhead Hunger Coalition and took part in the Homeless and Hungry event.

"It's real clear how much support they could use," said Bill Restemayer, student body president at Fargo Shanley High School.

The project drew praise for its size and focus.

"They're paving the way to do something big," said Greg Tehven, a founder of the nonprofit youth service group Students Today Leaders Forever. "What they're doing in the Fargo-Moorhead area can be done elsewhere."

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"When you empower kids and engage kids, their power and their passion can take you places you never even imagined," said Morgan Forness, dean of students and principal at Fargo Oak Grove Lutheran School.

Forness said some adults were skeptical that the young people could pull off a project as large as Fill The Dome.

"They proved us wrong. Their idea was a big one and you know what, it's turning into a reality," Forness said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

Fill The Dome ramps up media effort food for needy Helmut Schmidt 20071113

Helmut Schmidt is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead's business news team. Readers can reach him by email at hschmidt@forumcomm.com, or by calling (701) 241-5583.
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