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College nurses: Gift baskets to benefit child with cancerTell North Platte what you think
Photo by Heather Johnson
Associate Degree of Nursing students and instructors, prior to the pinning ceremony.
Photo by Heather Johnson
Samantha Robins, Sabrina Stineman and Christina Blanton, all of North Platte, with baskets of goodies for Aiden.
Photo by Heather Johnson
Faculty, students, members of the fire department and representatives from Menards.

First-year nursing students at North Platte Community College continued their pattern of giving back to the community recently, putting together a gift basket for Aiden Solon, a second-grader from North Platte who has cancer.

Members of NPCC’s chapter of the Nebraska State Student Nurses Association began the gift basket project immediately after their campaign to replenish water supplies at local fire departments ended on Friday.

“We just wanted to give Aiden something that he could use when driving to treatments or in the hospital,” said Samantha Robins, first vice president of the NSSNA.

To fill the basket, the nursing students asked for donations from local business and purchased items themselves. Toy cars, a teddy bear, clay, pencils, crayons, snacks and comic, activity and coloring books are just some of the goodies they compiled.

The project grew as the donations streamed in. It now consists of two baskets, two cups and some stand-alone items such as magic kits. Solon’s family will also receive numerous gift certificates to local restaurants.

The college’s nursing students helped Solon last year as well, raising more than $2,000 for his travel and medical expenses through a “Run For Your Life!” 5K and Kids’ Mile run/walk.

Water for firefighters

In late April, the nurses decided to restock the firefighters’ supplies of bottled water, which had dwindled to two cases after a series of fires in the North Platte area.

The students, along with staff from Menards, delivered a total of 417 cases of water to station 1 of the North Platte Fire Department on May 4.  

The water will be divided among the department’s other stations and also to volunteers inthe Mid-Plains Mutual Aid Fire District.

That consists of the following departments: Arnold, Brady, Curtis, Hershey, Maxwell, Maywood-Wellfleet, McPherson County, North Platte, the North Platte Regional Airport, Paxton, Stapleton, Sutherland and Wallace.

“The donations mean a lot to us,” said Preston Bolte, a North Platte firefighter and paramedic. “They show the community is supporting us in what we do. The generosity has been overwhelming.”

Angela Rodda, the college’s Nebraska State Student Nurses Association chapter president, said NSSNA members wanted to restock hydration supplies at the stations before fire season gets into full swing. She said it only made sense to help the people they will be working alongside of someday.

Numerous individuals and businesses from throughout the community helped. In addition to the water, the campaign raised $575. That money will be used to buy more water for the firefighters the next time their supplies run low.



Thirty-one Associate Degree of Nursing students were recognized May 12 during a pinning ceremony at North Platte Community College. The pinning served as a symbolic welcome into the nursing profession.

Director of Nursing Kathy Harrison introduced the graduates.

“You’ve been on a long journey and made many sacrifices,” Harrison told them. “Through your determination, you have made it. Being a nurse isn’t about the grades. It’s about being who you are.”

The student speakers were Adrienne McDaniel, Kayla Dotson and Candice Myers. 

“These past two years have been a roller coaster of emotion, from highest of highs to lowest of lows,” said McDaniel. “I think about how far we’ve come, from being strangers to becoming family. The memories, the friendships we’ve made - will last forever.”

Dotson called her experience at NPCC “incredible” and said she now feels prepared and confident to be a nurse.

“This is only the start of the journey we will embark on,” Myers said. “We have put so much time and hard work into getting this far. We have accomplished something significant. We have survived nursing school."”

The following students received pins:

• Arnold - Mackenzie Kulp, Bre Anna Zierke

• Cozad - Krystal Hernandez, Temerree Maudlin

• Curtis - Chelsie Markley, Adrienne McDaniel

• Indianola - Justine Jones                    

• Lewellen - April Toepfer

• Mason City - Stephanie Jensen

• McCook - Sadey Bessmer, Angela Watts

• North Platte - Andrea Alvarado, Kyla Bailey, Colleen Christensen, Kimberly Collins, Taylor Cooper, Bethany Daly, Kayla Dotson, Treu Gibson, Daphne Maaliao, Rachel Mullen, Candice Myers, Brooke Rubenthaler, Neissa Silos, Shea Simmons, Michelle Thursby

• Overton - Nicole Ackman

• Paxton - Rebecca White

• Sutherland - Brandy McConnell, Kristen Nelson    

• Haiku, Hawaii - Kaile Jacobson


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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 5/14/2017
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