By Tribune Staff Reports

For collecting the most blankets for the Sertoma Club of Jackson County’s annual Christmas Miracle, Brownstown Central High School recently was presented a traveling trophy.

Jackson County United Way has supported Christmas Miracle for the past five years by having a blanket drive contest between Brownstown Central and Seymour high schools, dubbed “Battle of the Blankets.”

This school year, the traveling trophy was added to up the ante, said Bonita Dobbs, program manager with Jackson County United Way. Brownstown Central won with 278 blankets.

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The blankets are placed in boxes of toys given to less-fortunate children on Christmas Eve through the Christmas Miracle project.

Every year, Brownstown Central’s DECA Club has collected at least 100 blankets. The most was 428 in 2013.

The club started collecting blankets the day after Thanksgiving break. The third-period classes participated and brought in blankets, and a few were donated by the community.

To encourage people to donate at school, the classes participated in a contest in which they came up with different displays of the blankets.

For example, Stephanie Hackman’s class did a “Polar Express” display complete with a movie showing, golden tickets and costumes, and Rock Hurley’s U.S. history class made a life-size tepee since they were studying Native Americans.

Rewards also were up for grabs. Hackman’s class earned a pizza party for lunch for bringing in the most blankets, while Andrea Pendleton’s class received doughnuts for coming up with the most creative display.

“It was heartwarming to see the students come together to assist the community in that way,” said Robin Perry, the school’s DECA Club adviser.

“It is also a memory maker for students,” she said. “They probably won’t remember what color of blanket they brought in, but I bet they will remember Mr. Hurley cutting sticks into tepee stakes at school. I am sure they will remember creating working lights for the train on the Polar Express. Also, they will look back on working together as a class and that good feeling you get when you help someone. They will remember that.”