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Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy Student Raises $10,290 to Purchase Equipment for Ithaca and Perrinton Fire Stations

Funds will be used to purchase grain bin entrapment equipment needed to help local first responders rescue victims

Zoey Harrison, a 9th-grade student at Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy (MGLVA), has raised $10,290 with the support of local businesses and community members to purchase much-needed equipment for the Gratiot Emergency Services Authority’s (GESA) Ithaca and Perrinton fire stations.

“I was inspired to start this fundraiser in support of our local fire station after learning they didn’t have the grain bin entrapment equipment needed to rescue farmers in rural communities like Ithaca,” said Harrison. “Our local firefighters have applied for grants for this equipment before and been denied twice. But now, with these funds, two local fire stations will be able to purchase the equipment and cover the costs of the specialized training the first responders need to utilize it.”

“Grain bin entrapment rescue equipment is critical for saving lives in rural areas that harvest significant amounts of grain like Ithaca,” said David Nelson, GESA Fire Chief-CAO. “Thanks to Zoey’s heart for her community and the generous donations from our local businesses and community members, the Ithaca and Perrinton stations will be able to better respond in these life-and-death situations.”

Harrison launched the fundraising campaign in early November, visiting more than 50 local businesses to request their support in meeting her goal of $4,000. After two short weeks, local businesses and community members donated enough funds to purchase the equipment for the GESA Ithaca fire station. Local businesses who supported the fundraiser include:

  • Alley T Screen Printing Embroidery & Promotional Products
  • Chaffin Farms
  • Chasing Fireflies
  • Central Ag Seeds
  • Farmers Insurance - Karen Smith Agency
  • Hirschman Grain
  • Kellogg Farms
  • Kimmel Propane Inc
  • Los Hermanos Mexican Restaurant
  • Main Street Pizza Ithaca
  • Sandy Ridge Farms
  • Taco Bell
  • The Wagon Wheel
  • X-Ability Store

Recognizing Harrison’s efforts to give back to her local community, McDonald’s of Ithaca donated $4,000 to cover the cost of one additional set of equipment for the GESA Perrinton fire station. Additionally, Zeeland Farm Services (ZFS) Ithaca is covering the cost of additional safety equipment needed by firefighters to enter grain bins for rescue purposes and assisting with training for all GESA firefighters.

“Zoey is a phenomenal student and has always been committed to advocating for her community and doing everything she can to support their needs,” said Kendall Schroeder, head of school at MGLVA. “We are so proud of what Zoey has achieved with this fundraiser and know it will have a lasting impact on the Ithaca and Perrinton communities.”

As a thank you to those who donated to the fundraiser, Harrison personally baked 44 pies, including apple, Dutch apple and cherry flavors.

For more information about MGLVA, visit


Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy (MGLVA) is an online public-school academy program authorized by the Manistee Area School District, serving students across the state of Michigan. MGLVA is tuition-free, giving parents and families the choice to access the engaging curriculum and tools provided by Stride, Inc. (NYSE: LRN), the nation’s leading provider of proprietary K-12 curriculum and online education programs. For more information about MGLVA, visit


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