MCHS Students Lead Fundraisers for Local Student and His Father


A screenshot taken from the gofundme page for MCHS senior Davis Powell (left) and his father, Robert (right).

Reagan Warren, Staff Reporter

Current Madison Consolidated High School students have been coming up with fundraiser ideas to help MCHS senior and The Madisonian correspondent, Davis Powell, raise money for his father’s Aguanile hernia surgery. Davis’ father’s injury started years ago when he had hernia surgery; recently, the meshing fixing the hernia has come loose. The meshing is currently not doing the job a hernia mesh should do by holding your stomach, small intestines, liver, and kidneys in your abdomen. The elder Powell’s intestines are currently at risk of strangulation and even sometimes do become strangulated. Davis’ father has been losing weight at an alarming rate because his intestines are strangulating, making the situation dire. The planned fundraisers were two bake sales: one ran by LeAnne Blackerby, the culinary arts teacher at MCHS, and Jackson Bear, a senior. Other fundraisers included a talent show run by junior Ally Skirvin, a raffle ticket and silent auction run by Claire Bilz and Maddie Cline (both seniors), and bracelets sold with the moniker #CubStrong and “We love our weatherman” was put together by Patty and Mary Johnson (both seniors).

The cookies made by the culinary team sold for $2. Blackerby said that the bake sale went well enough. “The fundraising took place in the high school cafeteria, but we delivered to 5th-period classes. Fundraising went well enough, but not as well as we would have liked. We didn’t hit our goal, but the students did a good job making the product. They did their best because they wanted to help a friend,” stated Blackerby.

Blackerby indicated that part of the reason they did not hit their goal is that some students were looking for more bang for their buck for a two-dollar cookie. However, some students just gave a straight donation while some teachers and staff members ordered in bulk. Although Some students were looking more for how big a cookie they would get for their $2. Blackerby expressed that her culinary students had just completed a cookie project for IVY Tech and knew they could do an excellent job in the fundraiser because they had already practiced with the cookie dough and royal icing. Cub Culinary raised $185 of their $300.

Davis Powell stands with the other contestants of the talent show fundraiser organized by Ally Skirvin.

Skirvin’s fundraiser took place at the MCHS Opal E. Sherman auditorium the Sunday evening before school returned from fall break. The talent show consisted of four acts, including one from Davis, and a youth group performance from a local church. Admission was $10, and the proceeds went to the Powell’s. 

“Most people gave more than the required $10 admission. $20 was the common amount given. We had a good turnout. People had a lot of fun with it and reacted well to the acts that we had.”

Skirvin expressed that she knew Powell and his family needed help. As she saw other students come together to help fundraise, she wanted to as well. While Skirvin said the idea just came to her, she organized the show, the talent, and reserving the auditorium, and tallied almost $600 for Powell and his cause.

Davis Powell performs during the fundraiser.

Patty and Mary Johnson, who spearheaded the bracelet drive, stated, “We did the fundraising here at Madison High School. The fundraiser went really well. People were really receptive, and there were a lot of people who donated after they had bought a bracelet.

The Johnson sisters figured that people would be interested in buying bracelets to support such a good cause and had an excellent reception to their bracelet idea. “

“People reacted very well, and most everyone that was asked to buy a bracelet bought one,” said the Johnsons. They were able to raise $300.

A “we love our weatherman” bracelet designed for the Powell family fundraiser. The bracelet sale was spearheaded by Mary and Patty Johnson

The other bake sale, led by Jackson Bear, took place at the homecoming football game in the fall. Actually, the bake sale idea came from Bear’s mother, Kendra. 

“We had a lot of different people that didn’t even know of the situation (who) donate(d), so they were very open-minded about it. Some people wouldn’t even take a baked good would just donate. Everyone was just happy that we were doing something for Davis,” said Bear.

Bear’s bake sale raised around $150. 

Bilz and Cline explained that they executed their fundraiser at the homecoming football game as well, but they also sold tickets at school to faculty and students. The two senior students also went into the community and got local businesses on board with them. The businesses donated things to put into the basket to help them sell them. 

Bilz stated, “The fundraiser went better than expected. I wasn’t sure how much we would end up raising, but when I heard how much we ended up making, it made me feel very accomplished. It was a  great learning experience and something that will always stick with me.” 

“We were brainstorming ideas for a fundraiser, and this was one of our options,” Cline said. “We liked the idea of having stuff to give back to the people who are giving money to us. We also wanted to do something different than anyone else would be doing since there was another fundraiser going on,” said Cline. 

Joe Cline, Maddie Cline’s, father auctions off items for the Powell family fundraiser at a Cub football game.

Bilz and Cline indicated that many students and community members were eager to help the Powells, much like the other fundraisers. Many local area businesses and restaurants Old Time Marketplace, Harry’s Stonegrill, Cocoa Safari, and more donated to the Powell fundraiser which Bilz and Cline turned into Madison-centric gift baskets to be auctioned off.

“People were willing to give a generous amount for the basket. Everyone that donated knew what the cause was for, so they weren’t doing it just to get the products that were in the basket. Everyone put more than $50 in the basket. When we would tell people about our fundraiser and what the money would be going for, they were automatically super supportive of it. Our faculty, family members, students, and people of the community who helped our basket were so helpful and so supportive. It helped to have a bunch of people behind you and supporting us with this project.”

Cline and Bilz both exclaimed, “At the end, we ended up raising $500, which is way more than we had expected to make.”

“You’d think that after two months I wouldn’t be so speechless, but the amount of support that my family has been getting has been absolutely overwhelming. I wish I could shake the hands of every single person who donated and thank them, personally,” said the younger Powell.

So far, the Powell family has received overwhelming support from the local fundraisers and the younger Powell’s account he made to help his father as well. The local school fundraisers raised over $1,000 on top of the $10,000 raised on the Powell gofundme page. Including those contributions and other donations from local fundraisers and community members, Powell has raised over $17,000 of his $30,000 goal for his father’s surgery which will take place the first week of February. If you are interested in donating to the Powell gofundme page, you can find it here: