Stars help community celebrate Northside’s success

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It was a celebration that will be talked about in Benson for years to come. Star power came to the city to celebrate with the community with the Northside Elementary winning the nationwide “Give With Target” competition.
“I was kind of stunned for four days and it kind of felt like it never happened,” elementary teacher Roger Ebnet and the force behind Northside winning the Target competition, said of last week’s community celebration. “And now  it kind of feels like it happened two months ago.”
But there were plenty of reminders last week to keep him savoring the thrill of the community’s high-energy recognition by Target for being number one in the national in its “Give With Target” campaign.
“One girl in the school wore her Target glasses for the whole week,” Ebnet said with a laugh. Walking outside the school at noon hour later last week, he heard a group chanting “Target. Target. Target. The kids are still talking about it,” he said.
Ebnet says he is now in the gathering stages, putting together tons of pictures and video that were taken, and trying to keep up on line with how many things people posting to different web sites about the event in Benson.
Through its “Give With Target” campaign the company gave away $5 million to schools in the nation using social media to promote its efforts. Schools signed up for the competition, and then received votes on their Facebook pages.
After a starting minimum of 25 votes, Target committed to give each school $1 per vote up to a maximum of $10,000 or until its $5 million limit was reached. You could only vote once a week. That rule made it much more likely that a big school with a large population base to support it would win the competition. But Benson received statewide help in its campaign as knowledge of the little school that believed it accomplish big things grew.
While Northside Elementary’s effort started out local, it soon grew to encompass former Benson High School graduates across the country. Local businesses became involved.

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