Melodie Chrisman, the Community Services League site manager in Blue Springs, walked into the press box at the Blue Springs South High School stadium Friday night with tears streaming down her face.

“Don’t worry, honey,” Chrisman said, “they’re tears of joy. I just found out how many canned goods and non-perishable items had been donated to CSL, and I’m overwhelmed. I didn’t know if we could top last year – and the students in the Blue Springs School District did it again!”

At halftime of the annual Cat Clash last Friday, between visiting Blue Springs High School and the host Blue Springs South Jaguars, Chrisman announced that 64,458 items were collected and she was also presented a check for $3,918 in donations from area businesses.

“Last year we got 57,000 items, and I didn’t think that number could ever be topped,” Chrisman said, “and to get 64,458 is just amazing. Our shelves are going to be filled immediately – and that is such an amazing feeling, for me and all the folks in Blue Springs who need help.”

Blue Springs South donated 5,803 items, Blue Springs donated nearly 3,000 items, Brittany Hill Middle School donated 3,894 items, Delta Woods Middle School donated 3,615 items, and John Nowlin Elementary School donated 4,324 items.

“But the school that donated the most items was Voy Spears Elementary that set a record for one school by donating 12,065 items,” Chrisman said. “That is amazing!”

Blue Springs South’s Susan Bubalo and Danielle Knowles from Blue Springs are their schools’ student sponsors and like Chrisman, they were thrilled with the students’ efforts.

“Our students and staff really rallied this year to help our community,” Knoll said. “I am incredibly proud of our efforts this year. With adding in the Freshman Center, things looked a little different this year, but everyone rose to the occasion, and we did better than we have in the past, which I love to see.”

“This week is not just about competition but also about coming together as a community, and I feel like we all worked together!”

Bubalo echoed Knowles’ sentiment.

“This is such a sense of caring and compassion in our building, and it started long before I got involved in Community Unity Week and student senate,” Bubalo said.

“I’m just so proud of all the students who made this possible.”