Friendly wager turns into fundraiser

Caleb Trumbull lost a bet, and in doing so raised $100 for a class project titled Operation Make a Difference. The money, along with contributions from classmates in Tracy Norton’s home room class, will go to sponsor a family in need for Christmas.

The friendly wager originated when dinner table trash-talking led to a push-up contest between Trumbull, Hood River Middle School sixth-grader, and family friend Joe Guenther, 29-year-old financial advisor for EdwardJones. Trumbull won the contest, with an asterisk noting that the Trumbull dog accosted Guenther during his attempt — a controversial call that was waived by referee (and Caleb’s father) Jack Trumbull.

Like any self-respecting man defeated by a child would do, Guenther settled the bet with another bet.

This time it would be a one-mile race — four laps around the Hood River Valley High School track, no dogs allowed — double or nothing for bragging rights for at least the rest of the year. The wager came in timing with a school project that asked each student in Tracy Norton’s sixth-grade home room to raise at least $20, to be pooled together and used to buy Christmas gifts for a less-fortunate local family.

Trumbull used the rivalry as his fundraising activity, inviting a few others to join in and pad the pot. With the soundtrack to Rocky playing through a portable speaker, Trumbull, Guenther and four others braved last week’s sub-freezing temperatures to settle the bet.

After a quick round of trash-talking, the race was off. Determined to even the score, Guenther took pulled ahead halfway through the first lap and didn’t look back. By the end of the fourth he had a comfortable lead and crossed the finish line in a time of 6:20. Trumbull finished in a respectable 6:42, followed by friend and classmate Cole Talmage, Jack Trumbull, Pat Graham and Lyndee Talmage.

The finish gave Trumbull $80 for his fundraiser, which was upped to $100 after Guenther donated his winnings to the cause.

n Operation Make a Difference is a class project designed to teach students the importance of community service and giving back, as well as practical lessons like budgeting, cost analysis and financial planning. Each student in Norton’s home room was asked to raise at least $20 through some kind of service project or activity. Meanwhile, the class is creating a list of items to be purchased for a local family in need over the holidays. Once the money is compiled, the class will make shopping lists, create a budget and purchase items together. Students will then wrap and deliver the items in time for Christmas.

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