Filling the Court with Hospitality

March 9, 2023


Stuffed animals after being thrown onto the gym floor for Cover the Court. (Photo taken by Baily Carll.)

Cover the Court was a community service project put on by Fair Grove High School’s FFA chapter at the Boys Varsity basketball game on February 17.

Cover the Court was put on, as a charity event. “It is a stuffed animal drive with the proceeds being donated to Children’s Mercy Hospital where they are given out to children who are in the hospital for extended stays as an item of comfort,” Cole Johnston, FFA Advisor, said. Although the event was sponsored by FFA it was Johnston’s 4th hour AG Leadership class that put it on. Johnston shared, “We decided to do it as one of our service learning projects last semester. We have reached out to Strafford’s FFA chapter for them to coordinate with their school to get participation from them as our main rival as well.”

Cover the Court was mainly advertised by offering students who brought a medium or small stuffed animal, which still had it’s tags on, free admission to the Fairgrove v. Strafford home Boys Varsity basketball game on Friday, February 17. The event itself took place in only a minute during halftime, right before the varsity teams played. Every student and parent who attended the basketball game held onto their stuffed animals for the first half until directed to throw them, to which they all then chucked their stuffed animals onto the floor of the empty court. FFA then picked up all the stuffed animals and put them in garbage bags, where they were carried off to be prepped for donation. All donation proceeds are given to Mercy Children’s Hospital patients who have been staying there for an extended period of time.

“This event is extremely important because it allows our community to give back to those in need while they focus on healing,” Taylor Rode, a senior and chairman of the committee that put on the event, shared. She continued, “I am the one who coordinated the collaboration with Strafford. I think it will be beneficial as not only will it allow the rest of the classes to compete, but it will also help out a good cause.”

Rode revealed that this will be the last event AG Leadership puts on for this year, as they are, “about to begin contest season in the AG building so it will be very busy.”

According to Johnston, the results of Cover the Court brought in a total of 305 stuffed animals. That means that over 300 sick children will be able to receive a new stuffed animal for their extended stay in the hospital.

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