BRANCHVILLE -- Lockett Elementary students didn't let the chill in the air on the morning of Oct. 20 deter them. They lined up along the fence there in anticipation of the school's first Cupcake Drive, a fundraiser to purchase cupcakes for local first responders to let them know how much their work is appreciated.

The event was the brainchild of one of the teachers at Lockett, who refused to take credit. "It's a team thing," the teacher insisted. "The Student Support Committee put this thing together.”

Matching the spirit of many first responders, she didn’t crave any distinction or honors; she just wanted to do something good for others.

“The kids definitely enjoyed it,” the teacher said. “They were really excited to see the dollars they brought in ending up equaling a lot of cupcakes.”

The fundraiser generated enough money to purchase $138 worth of cupcakes to be exact, provided at a discount from Bi-Lo in St. George. The cupcakes were finished in white icing with red and blue star-shaped sprinkles adorning the top.

Thee star-spangled freedom cakes were just what the doctor ordered for Cattle Creek Volunteer firefighter Blaine Heffelfinger and Branchville Volunteer Fire Department Assistant Chief Keith Furtick. When asked of their cupcake preference, both said they liked the vanilla ones.

Heffelfinger and his wife, Stephanie, represent a total of 30 years of volunteer firefighting. When asked why he does it, Heffelfinger said, “I just enjoy helping people. If you ask my son, you know, I cry at the drop of a hat. It’s just all about what’s in your heart.”

He described his morning at Lockett Elementary as joyful saying he was grateful for recognition of first responders by the students, teachers and administrators.

“We got a lot of high fives from the students when we walked along the fence line with the firetruck,” Furtick said. “I think the firetruck made their day … . They invited us out for a 'thank you' day to show their appreciation, so we brought a truck out to show our appreciation for them.”

The teacher responsible for the fundraiser noted, “A friend of mine at church actually had the idea. She and her kids had done it since Sept. 11th.”

Lockett's Cupcake Drive was originally scheduled for the anniversary of Sept. 11, but due to Hurricane Irma, the school had to reschedule it. 

Noted the teacher, “We wanted to remember Sept. 11 in a positive way, and what better way than to just say 'thank you' to the firefighters, the police officers and the first responders who run toward danger rather than away.”

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