By Heather Regula, Correspondent
The inaugural “Fill the Bus” event was held on Friday, August 18, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., at Tyler Jermstad State Farm Insurance. The compilation of efforts of the businesses located in the Westfield Marketplace led to the success of the event.
A TISD school bus was loaded with the donations, which will be shared between BISD and TISD. The CNJ Catering food truck, Jenny Anderson LuLaRoe, and Hula Cowgirl Shaved Ice were also on hand.
“I love to do things to support the community, and I’m delighted to be here today. A portion of my sales will be donated to purchase school supplies,” said Anderson.
Virginia Keeley, the owner of Hula Cowgirl Shaved Ice, was also excited about the opportunity to support “Fill the Bus.”
“We’ve done a few events for Tyler Jermstad State Farm before, and this is a worthwhile cause. I’m looking forward to seeing how full the bus gets,” said Keeley.
CNJ Catering was set up in the Westfield Marketplace for the first time.
“I’m a former teacher – I taught for over 30 years in Troy ISD – so I understand and appreciate the ideas behind this event,” said Sharon Dokupil, co-owner of CNJ Catering.
Over 50 people showed up to donate school supplies during the first hour.
“It is important to us to give back to the community, and we make an effort, as an office, to do a community service event each month,” said Andrea Cook, Life and Health Specialist with Tyler Jermstad State Farm. “It was incredible to see all of the teachers from Scott Elementary come out to donate so many school supplies! As educators, they’re probably the ones who need these supplies the most, yet they found a way to give back today.”
Chrystal Thomas is the Principal at Scott Elementary: An IB World School.
“We promote community awareness and action at Scott Elementary: An IB World School. Today is about modeling action to help out our community,” said Thomas.
Temple and Belton work well together to bridge gaps, build community, and help children. The “Fill the Bus” event serves as an example of what like-minded people can do to help others.
“Tyler Jermstad, being a Temple ISD alumna and community business owner, continually seeks out ways to support Bell County. With the participation of surrounding Westfield partners such as Kiella Homebuilders and others, their efforts today will notably impact our community neighbors and their school year,” said Brittany Wentz, TISD Coordinator of Human Resources. “Thank you to all for giving back to your community and supporting area schools, specifically Belton ISD and Temple ISD.”
Belton ISD and Temple ISD have worked together to create the “Perks for Paws” program, a discount program for district staff members on services and goods. Local businesses can become involved and find more information on how to participate on the BISD and TISD websites. The program, a joint partnership between BISD and TISD, builds community and encourages staff members to shop locally.