Elida students raise money for teacher

By Argen Duncan: PNT Senior Writer

Elida students brought together baked goodies and good will to help a well-loved teacher recently.

Elida High School’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes held a baked goods auction at the Jan. 22 Dora/Elida basketball game and raised $6,400 for agriculture teacher Rod Savage.

Savage was diagnosed with kidney problems about a week before the game, FCA sponsor and basketball coach Darrell Chenault said.

Chenault estimated the group auctioned off 15 to 20 items, meaning each went for an average of $320 to $427.

Students, parents and school staff members provided the cakes, pies and jars of cookies.

“Mr. Savage is pretty much everyone’s hero at Elida,” junior Jordyn Tivis said. “Everyone looks up to him, and he’s an outstanding man.”

Amanda Cross Smith, another junior, said the students did the auction because Savage is one of their favorite teachers and they wanted to help him.

“He’s just a really sweet guy, and he’s always there to do anything,” she said. “He’s just one of those teachers you can depend on, and he works hard.”

Chenault, who also teaches history and drivers education, said the fundraiser had its start when he brought up the idea of helping at an FCA meeting and someone suggested the auction.

Students had already held a similar fundraiser during volleyball season for a retired teacher with breast cancer.

Chenault quoted Savage in saying there are three ways to be a leader.

“The first is by example, the second is by example, and the third is by example,” he repeated Savage’s comment.

At the auction, Chenault said, students reminded the ag teacher of his quote to show how they had learned from his example to decide to help.

“And I thought that was pretty fitting for a man that tries to raise young kids to be leaders in the world today,” Chenault said.