Lunch money

"Even for Education," an ongoing fundraising effort for schools in Cleburne County, held an anniversary party at WM Grocery store in Heflin on Tuesday. Holding a big check are, left to right, Cleburne County School Board member Owen McWhorter, Cleburne County Schools Superintendent Chad Young, WM Grocery store owner Steven Lines and store manager Luke Bowman.

HEFLIN An education fundraising effort that’s brought $30,000 into Cleburne County’s public schools in the past year marked its first anniversary with a party at WM Grocery here Tuesday afternoon. 

The program, spearheaded by Cleburne County Schools Superintendent Chad Young, raises money when customers at participating businesses donate their loose change during a transaction to “even up” their purchase to the next highest dollar. The difference is given to the Cleburne County Board of Education to be used by the school system.

The program is run during the months of   March, June, September and December.

Young said the money went directly to help purchase school supplies and pay fees for county students.

Young had the honors of cutting a large green and blue cake which read, “E4E Birthday Bash” for the twenty or so in attendance.

“Because of our businesses and our community, people donating their change, it’s been very successful. We want to thank the people of Cleburne County that have bought into this and helping our students,” Young said.

Young is optimistic about the future of the program.

“I’m an old football coach so we want to try to improve every year, try to keep making it better, because of stuff like this and what our businesses are doing I feel like it’s going to be better as we go,” Young said.

WM Grocery store owner Steven Lines presented an oversized symbolic check to Young for $15,662; the money the grocery store raised over the last year for the program.

“We thought it would be a good idea just to kinda wrap it up as a year, to show customers the amount the store raised,” Lines said.

“I want them to know that every penny that they donated has went back to the cause that they intended it to go to,” Lines said, explaining that after each month the E4E program is run the proceeds are taken to the board of education office.

“I think it’s just a great, great program that Chad came up with. It’s a great way to give back,” Lines said.

Heflin’s economic developer, Tanya Maloney, said the program is “brilliant.”

“I’m so happy that Chad had the idea because when I got my list of supplies this year I had items knocked off of it that were paid for by Even For Education, and I only see the program to grow so I’m excited that WM is bringing attention to it again for the one-year anniversary,” Maloney said.



​Staff writer Bill Wilson: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @bwilson_star.