CRESTVIEW — The regional Ronald McDonald House has new friends in Crestview High School's Leadership program.
The house — which serves families who travel to Pensacola for their children's critical medical treatment — is looking neater, and families living there had one less meal to prepare March 11.
Thirty-one Crestview students cleaned the 26-bedroom house's common areas, sorted donated clothing, did laundry and cooked supper for some of the home's 60 residents.
Using recipes that Leadership teacher Stephanie Sanders printed from the Internet, the kids pitched in and prepared a supper including potato salad, green salad, green beans, macaroni and cheese and cake for dessert.
"Even the boys helped," senior Ashley Guthrie said jokingly. "We got them drying the dishes."
P.E. teacher Kathy Combest, who holds required license and certification, voluntarily drove the school bus that took the Crestview students to and from Pensacola, saving money over hiring a bus driver.
The idea of helping at Ronald McDonald House was born when students started collecting soda tabs to benefit the home, Sanders said.
"When we looked into it, we realized there was much more we could do," she said.
"It was so great knowing that doing something so simple as cleaning windows could have a big impact on peoples' lives," junior Mikayla Lee said.
"It was a different experience," Ashley said. "It was nice to help families during a hard time for them."
Sophomore Erin Hardell said that she didn't even know one of the homes was in the region until the Leadership class took Ronald McDonald House as a project.
The Leadership class will continue its support for Ronald McDonald House with an outdoor movie night March 20, showing "Despicable Me 2" in the school stadium. Admission is 25 soda tabs or $3.
OUTDOOR MOVIE NIGHT
What: Outdoor screening of "Despicable Me 2"
When: 7:15 p.m. March 20
Where: Jack Foster Stadium, Crestview High School campus
Cost: 25 soda tabs or $3; proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House in Pensacola
Notes: Attendees may bring lawn chairs or blankets and snacks and enjoy the family-friendly movie.