Rock-a-thon helps North Country Mission of Hope

SARANAC - Though it's been said you can't get blood from a stone, apparently you can get money from a rock.

The Saranac Central High School Key Club gathered several dozen participants in its second-ever "Rock-a-thon" atSaranac Elementary School March 26, raising more than $500 for the North Country Mission of Hope. Key Club president Megan Harris came up with the idea of holding the event after returning from a mission trip to Nicaragua with North Country Mission of Hope last year.

"I had heard that a church had done something called a Rock-a-thon, where they just rocked in rocking chairs for 12 hours and the participants got people to sponsor them a certain amount of money for every hour they rocked," said the Saranac senior. "I thought it would be a good idea."

Rather than make a general donation to Mission of Hope, Harris decided to focus on of the nonprofit organization's programs, "Children Feeding Children."

"They provide children with a hot meal and a drink every day of the week," explained Harris. "And, for some of the kids, that's basically all they get to eat."

Having seen with her own eyes how people are still recovering from Hurricane Mitch - which devastated the Central American country in 1998 - Harris is one of the several Mission of Hope volunteers who has felt compelled to not only help overseas but from here as well.

"It was just a really touching experience," said Harris, referring to her first mission trip last year. "I just wanted to do whatever I could to contribute more than just being there in Nicaragua. I wanted to keep doing stuff here at home."

Bennett Cyphers, a junior at Plattsburgh High School, knows how Harris feels. Cyphers participated in this year's Rock-a-thon, drawing his interest from his own experience volunteering with Mission of Hope.

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