By Annette Aubinger
It was an event that Hannah DeMille will never forget. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hannah said her school was connected to The Giving Tree Food Pantry so she was very proud to raise money for that cause. She was nominated and chosen for Shopko’s “Making a Difference Program.” As a result of being selected, she represented the Howard-Suamico School District (HSSD) as the Kickoff Kid for the Green Bay Packers preseason game on August 31 against Los Angeles. Hannah raised $375 for The Giving Tree Food Pantry last year where she attended fourth grade at Suamico Elementary School.
The “Making a Difference Program” honors kids throughout the region who are making an impact on their community. Shopko teams up with the Green Bay Packers ahead of the football season to showcase young heroes who make a difference.
After the first kickoff of a preseason or home game, the Kickoff Kid (Hannah) gets to run on the field and pick up the holder the ball was placed on and bring it back to the sidelines. DeMille said she had a good time and would do it again if she could.
To receive the honor, you have to apply for the contest. Ryan Welnetz, her principal at Suamico Elementary School, encouraged her to apply. He had to submit why he felt she would be a good candidate.
Hannah’s application included a three page hand written essay about how she made a difference. She stated the school was connected to The Giving Tree Food Pantry so she was very proud to raise money for that cause. In Hannah’s words, “I’ve always had a feeling in my heart to help others. This popped up and I did it.”
What popped up in Hannah’s head was a coin drive for the school’s end of the year field day. There were three buckets with different choices of a game the principal would have to play. The bucket with the most coins was the game of choice. The game that was chosen was the fidget spinner. A teacher would spin the spinner and where the spinner stopped the principal had a certain amount of minutes to complete that task.
Hannah was surprised and happy that she raised $375. In addition her efforts, Shopko donated another $500 to The Giving Tree Food Pantry.
Hannah said it would feel really good to be in front of the all the people at the stadium but she had a few butterflies in her stomach before she went out onto the field. When she was all done the butterflies were gone, there were smiles on her face and she said, “It felt good!”