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Jagger Mills

Russellville homecoming dance becomes fundraiser for senior classmate

Russellville High School has gone a few years without a homecoming dance, but this year the homecoming dance returned with a bang, as all profits were donated to Jagger Mills, a member of the senior class who is battling severe aplastic anemia.

Varsity cheer coach Stephanie Mayfield said when two of her senior cheerleaders approached her about bringing back the homecoming dance, she was apprehensive. Then Mayfield remembered the last Russellville homecoming dance in 2014 was used as a fundraiser for former student Austin Kitterman.

“When they came up and asked about the dance, at first I thought, ‘Oh that’s a lot of work,’” Mayfield said. “But then I thought, ‘Absolutely, if we can donate the profits to a cause – Jagger Mills,’ and that’s their classmate, so they jumped all over that idea.”

The cheerleaders made posters for the dance, sold glow sticks and sold tickets for $5.

“I had students from this school coming in giving me $5 saying, ‘I’m not going to be able to make it, but keep my donation,’” Mayfield said. “To me, that’s what Russellville is all about: helping somebody out and going the extra mile.”

Mayfield said at first the goal was to raise $1,000, but when the cheerleaders had already sold more than 300 tickets before the dance, Mayfield and her squad began thinking of additional ways to raise money.

The cheerleaders and Russellville mascot Champ passed a bucket around the football stadium during the homecoming game to encourage those in attendance to at least give $1 to help Jagger.

By the end of the night, the fundraiser had garnered $2,800, and the cheerleaders donated an additional $200 from fundraising money to bring the total donation to $3,000.

Overall, Mayfield said she could not be prouder of the way the Russellville community came together to support Mills. 

She said the homecoming dance went off without a hitch, and being able to give the dance a purpose was the icing on the cake. As far as the possibility of continuing the homecoming dance next year, Mayfield said she is open to the idea.

“If we continue with the homecoming dance, we hope to find other worthy causes next year –  something we can put this money toward for the greater good,” Mayfield said.