By Caitlin Schudalla
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Following extensive fundraising, the dedication of some unselfish students and generosity of the Norman community, Norman North High School announced more than $200,000 raised at an assembly Monday.
NNHS’ annual SPUD (Students Performing Unselfish Deeds) week is a school-wide campaign to raise money through the Norman community for selected families in crisis.
Now in its 13th year, SPUD 2013 was especially memorable, thanks to both a successful fundraising campaign on the students’ part and a last-minute surprise announcement by NNHS principal Bryan Young.
“You guys have done a fantastic job, this is unique to Norman North, and it says so much about our student body and community,” Young said at the assembly.
SPUD student coordinators lined the stage with giant numbers, revealing that SPUD 2013’s efforts had successfully topped the goal of $130,000, totaling more than $150,000.
Cheers erupted in the assembly but gave way to stunned silence as Young announced one final, private, anonymous donation and handed a check to SPUD treasurer Bailey Smith, who tearfully read the amount out loud: $50,000 to the OK Kid’s Korral.
“The assembly is always very emotional,” Young said. “I was notified of the $50,000 donation last week and told the anonymous donor we’d make it a surprise.
“After the assembly, the student coordinators just cried.”
SPUD coordinators’ joy was shared throughout the assembly, as Young’s final announcement earned a standing ovation in the student body.
“We have an ongoing connection with the families we benefit. The two recipients’ families went to Norman North, and Toby Keith’s kids are or have been students here,” Young said.
SPUD 2013 was the school’s first time adding a foundation to its multiple beneficiaries, which Young said was due in large part to the Korral’s focus on children battling cancer.
“This was the first year we talked about adding an organization, but we felt the Korral fits in with recipients we’ve had in the past very nicely,” Young said. “It’s great for the kids, and this school and Norman overall is very much a community.”
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