PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Nederland

October 17, 2013

No madness in this Mid-County canned food drive

NEDERLAND — In his days as a Bulldog, Hunter Faubion would never have dreamed of teaming up with arch-nemesis Port Neches-Groves no matter what the occasion.

“There has been some bad blood between the schools,” said Faubion, a 1994 Nederland High School graduate who returned to his alma mater to teach world history and serve as faculty advisor for the Nederland Key Club.

This year, instead of pilfering the Indians’ totem pole or trailing purple-and-white feathers in front of Bulldog Stadium, Faubion’s Key Club is teaming up with its PN-G counterparts to sponsor “Bulldogs and Indians Can!” — a community-wide drive for Some Other Place, a Beaumont-based organization that sponsors programs such as Meals on Wheels and the Christmas “Giving Tree” program. In addition to receptacles at the gates of Bulldog Stadium during tonight’s game, the students have set up boxes at the Market Basket locations in Groves, Nederland and Port Neches. Those attending tonight’s volleyball game in the Nederland High School gym will also be able to bring canned food items.

“As members of Kiwani’s, one of the things we want to instill in our kids is a sense of community,” Faubion said. “We want to see those kids develop their leadership skills, and this is a perfect way for them to do that.”

Rene Ford, faculty advisor for the PN-G Key Club, suggested Some Other Place because her students volunteer there every Thanksgiving.

“They’re really low on canned food this year,” said Ford, who teaches math for special education students. “It’s really important that people get enough food for the holidays.”

It is also important, both advisors said, to breed a sense of unity among their students, rather than divide them by district lines. The two clubs became familiar with each other earlier this month when they collaborated during the “Adopt a Beach” clean up at McFaddin Beach.

“You get to meet new people,” said Jennifer Savant, 14, a freshman member of the Nederland Key Club. “There’s no trash talking.”

 And when the students met at the Nederland ISD administration building to discuss the project, the atmosphere was cordial.

“We have that rivalry, but we’re coming together for the community,” said 15-year-old Merari Castillo, a sophomore Nederland Key Club member.

Courtney Marsh, a sophomore member of the PN-G Key Club, agreed with her Bulldog counterparts.

“It’s great that we’re coming together for a common goal,” said Marsh, 15. “All for one, one for all.”

With a grin, she added, “But we’re still going to can the ‘Dogs.”

Well, a little friendly competition never hurt anyone. Each club has vowed it will have collected the most canned items by the end of the fourth quarter.

“I think we’re going to be able to hold our own,” Faubion said. “After all, we are Nederland.”

“What Hunter doesn’t know is that he’s already behind,” Ford countered, laughing.

Faubion also laughed, before responding, “We’ll do our talking Friday night.”

Email: ecallahan@panews.com

Twitter: @ErinnPA

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