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Decorah Middle Schoolers donate to Fish Hatchery

Posted: Mon, Feb 22, 2010 6:00 PM

After learning from one of their teachers that the Decorah Fish Hatchery was embarking on a fundraising and membership campaign, six Decorah Middle School 7th graders decided to get involved. Gabrielle Cowie, Olivia Dieschbourg, Emily Krueger, Kellie Sharp, Daiton Tietz and Ruthie Vermace raised over $1,000 in a two-month period. The money has been given to the Fish Hatchery to help pay for the cost of building an interpretive center and restroom facility on the Fish Hatchery property.

The girls held a "Pennies for Potties" fund-drive and competition in all Prime Time classes in the Middle School and urged Carrie Lee Elementary students to get involved by having them "fill Phil," a colorful fish-shaped bank they took around to the 3rd and 4th grade classrooms. The pennies, nickels, and dimes added up to over $1,000.

Friends of Decorah Fish Hatchery has recognized the contributions of the students at the two schools by naming Decorah Middle School and Carrie Lee Elementary School to "Eagle" level membership in the newly formed non-profit organization.

The student fund drive is over, but the students are still challenging other schools, individuals, and businesses to join the "Friends of the Decorah Fish Hatchery" and help fund the new facility. For more information, visit the Friends of Decorah Fish Hatchery website at

(Pictured above, first row, left to right): Seventh grade students Emily Krueger, Gabi Cowie, Ruthie Vermace, Olivia Dieschbourg, Daiton Tietz, Decorah Fish Hatchery Fisheries Biologist Brian Malaise, Decorah Middle School Principal Leona Hoth. (Second row, left to right): Carrie Lee Elementary Principal Cheryl Sommers, Decorah Middle School teachers and Friends of Decorah Fish Hatchery board members Peggy Beatty and Randy Iverson. Not pictured: 7th grade student Kellie Sharp.