Four-day fundraiser nets $700 for Crawleys.

Thursday was a prime example of how a small community can come together to help a fellow citizen. As Central Primary School students arrived at school and entered the auditorium, they were allowed to pick out a necktie, then met one of several men who volunteered their time to assist the students in tying the ties. Each member of the student body, as well as most teachers, purchased a tie for $1 to help raise funds for the family of Robert Crawley, a seventh grader at Goza Middle School awaiting a lengthy, corrective medical procedure and surgery in a St. Louis hospital. His little brother, Roger, is a second grader at Central and is known for regularly sporting a necktie. Central school nurse April Morgan came up with the idea to have students wear a tie as part of the Great Kindness Challenge week. The idea morphed into a fundraiser to help offset travel and lodging expenses for Robert and his mother, and in the end the goal was to ensure each student had a tie to wear for the day. Residents were asked to drop off unwanted or unused neckties at the school, and many did so. The goal was reached, and there were more ties than enough for each student. Even better: there was enough money raised in four days — $700 — to outfit twice the 311-student population of Central. Volunteers on hand to tie included Mark Overturf, Sheriff Jason Watson, Prosecuting Attorney Blake Batson, school board member Dr. Kenneth Harris, Nate Morse, Clark County deputies Don Deaton, Jim Burns and Rick Mays, and Siftings reporter Jamal Brown. “It turned out perfect,” said Charlotte DeWitt, Central counselor. “It was like a party. I loved this morning.” But the giving doesn’t have to end, as there is an account set up at any Southern Bancorp branch for monetary donations to the Crawley family. All proceeds will benefit Brenda and Robert as they will be in St. Louis for the two-month procedure.