Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 18, 2018

Board approves firing cannon at football games

By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | Aug 24, 2017

The Fairfield Community School District Board of Directors approved a motion that would allow the firing of a cannon during Fairfield High School football games.

The motion was contingent upon Brent Jones, who owns the Winchester Model 98 Signal Cannon, providing the board with a hold-harmless agreement and a certificate of insurance.

“After those additions, it was approved,” said board secretary Kim Sheets during an interview today.

Jones presented the idea during the public comments section of the meeting, and said he and Fairfield Middle School science teacher Cory Klehm would be responsible for the cannon.

“It shoots low-grade blanks. There is no projectile that comes out of it,” Jones told the board after he explained that it would only be fired when the team comes out of the tunnel and after touchdowns.

The cannon is slated to be fired at the north end zone.

“We would have hearing protection and eye protection for the people who are firing the cannon,” he said, adding that he and Klehm would maintain the cannon and supply the ammunition.

“We have had local businesses who have already offered to sponsor the cannon for each home game,” Jones said. “They are donating $200 per game.”

Jones said proceeds from the cannon would go to support the Trojan Honor Plaza.

The measure was unanimously approved.

In other news, Mark Thorton of Carry-On Bags provided the board with an overview of the program during its four years of operation, and also informed the board that students would be able to sign up for the program during the first week of school.

Thorton said that the 501(c)(3), was formed to help fill the need for students who might not eat enough when they are not at school.

“We saw a need for weekend nutrition ... 47 percent are on free and reduced lunches,” Thorton said, explaining that Carry-On Bags is in a partnership with First United Methodist Church and Hy-Vee Food and Drugstore.

“We do the packing at the Methodist church,” he said, adding that Hy-Vee sells the organization food at cost.

When the program initially started, he said around 360 students participated. Now, around 175 participate. He said the current number of students who are on the program are more representative of who really need it.

“There are no income requirements,” he said. “We received a lot of grant money ...

“[We] appreciate the school for allowing us to serve in this manner,” he said, adding that the organization had received stories from those who had benefited from the program.

Thornton said that there were two reasons for doing the program: “No. 1, it’s rewarding and No. 2, it’s just seeing the need and knowing that the need is being met.

“We’ve certainly faced challenges — not everyone who gets a bag really needs it,” he said. “If there’s one student who needs help, we want to make sure that student gets a bag.”

“It’s a great program,” said board member Joe Carr. “Much appreciated.”

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