Mary Casson

Mary Casson, a senior at St. Albert High School, signs a check Thursday morning before a presentation to the American Heart Association at Lewis Central High School. Staff photo/Scott Stewart


COUNCIL BLUFFS – Two friends, each the leader of a Council Bluffs high school student council, brought their schools together along with donors, teachers, fellow students and others to collect about $4,450 for the American Heart Association.

Seniors Anna Bilek of Lewis Central High School and Mary Casson of St. Albert Catholic School helped orchestrate a red-out night Friday, Feb. 5, when the Titans hosted the Falcons and Saintes for basketball.

Shirts were sold at St. Albert as well as at Lewis Central middle and high schools and Titan Hill Intermediate School, the students said, and teachers at Lewis Central High School could wear jeans if they made a donation. Students at St. Albert were given an out-of-uniform day if they participated in the drive.

“We had a grub day for it,” Casson said. “The red-out happened to be during our Catholic Schools Week.”

A red-out to support the American Heart Association has been a tradition for the past three years at St. Albert. The two friends, which sparked this year’s partnership with Lewis Central, said they raised more money than expected.

“It was something fun for our schools to do together,” Bilek said. “It worked out perfectly.”

Casson said the game day featured face-painting plus a raffle of a gift card from Buffalo Wild Wings and a TV, paid for using donations from Superior Honda of Omaha and Hildebrand Construction. Volunteers from both schools’ student councils were also factors in making the fundraiser run smoothly.

A novelty check was presented Thursday morning to Kate Hansen, youth market director for the American Heart Association, including an extra $100.

The donation officially will be transferred from the schools in the next couple weeks.

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