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Franklin Regional Middle School students to raise money for fellow Panthers in Texas

Patrick Varine
| Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, 9:18 a.m.
Trucks drive through flooded streets from Tropical Storm Harvey in Orange, Texas, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. Franklin Regional Middle School students will raise money for Mauriceville Middle School, in Orange. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Trucks drive through flooded streets from Tropical Storm Harvey in Orange, Texas, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. Franklin Regional Middle School students will raise money for Mauriceville Middle School, in Orange. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

In the wake of billions of dollars of damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in south Texas, Franklin Regional Middle School students and staff have directed fundraising efforts toward a group of fellow Panthers.

At this year's middle school book fair — itself a fundraiser for the school's parent-teacher organization — an additional fund drive will raise money for the library at Mauriceville Middle School, part of the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Independent School District in Orange, Texas.

Standing water in the Mauriceville Middle School library destroyed many of its books.

The district and city were both devastated by the hurricane . The Texas middle school's mascot also is a panther.

“It kind of happened by chance,” said FRMS Librarian Christy Belgiovane. “I asked if anyone had a connection to Texas, and one of our parents, Kris Snow, had a close friend from the Houston area who knew about Mauriceville. Three of their five schools had been severely damaged.”

Belgiovane reached out to Mauriceville Middle School Principal Kim Cox and worked out the specifics., and felt it was important to make a connection so that students know where their work will be directed.

“Kids learn empathy, rather than just holding a random fundraiser,” Belgiovane said. “I can show them pictures and help them make that real connection. Sometimes when you see things on the news, it seems so far away. But it's not. We're connected.”

Today is the final day for the book fair, but parents can send donations with their child through Friday. Checks should be made payable to “FRMS PTO” and sent to Franklin Regional Middle School, ATTN: Library, 4660 Old William Penn Highway, Murrysville, PA 15668.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, pvarine@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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