DECA seniors introduce pull tab competition for $1000 reward


Isabelle Braun

Seniors Kallie Leiker carries donation buckets to prepare for a pull tab competition. Their project, the Ronald McDonald house charity, accepts pull tabs to allow families to spend nights.

After raising $62,000 last year as a donation for their Ronald McDonald house charity, seniors Isabelle Braun and Kallie Leiker chose to collect pull tabs this year instead.

The duo has been working on the charity as their District Educations Club of America (DECA) project since their junior year, after it had been passed down from DECA members graduated in 2016.

“This is our 19th year doing this project,” DECA instructor Shaina Prough said. “I usually find students who are willing to commit to it for two years. In turn, they look at who is coming into the program to pass it down and train them a little bit, let them know what the expectations are and what commitment it is going to take.”

Prough said the project has collected pull tabs every year, but this year is slightly different.

“To add incentive, we have a competition,” Prough said. “A $1000 reward to whichever school collects the most pull tabs.”

Schools participating are Hays High, Thomas Marian Prep, Plainville, Great Bend, and schools in Ellis and Colby have been contacted.

“It’s a competition between high schools to see how much each collected,” Braun said. “Once we have all of those back, we will divide them by the number of students to see how many pull tabs were collected per student.”

The second pull tab competition is in the middle school, running from Oct. 1 to Nov. 5.

“Pull tabs are a really inexpensive commitment without having to sell anything,” Prough said. “Last year the girls raised over $62,000, trying to beat that would be nearly impossible.”

Each year, the group collects about $300 worth of pull tabs to donate, enough for a family to stay a year for free in the houses, Prough said.

“A certain number of pull tabs makes a certain number of nights for families to stay,” Braun said. “We are just trying to get as many families as possible to be able to stay in the house.”

In upcoming weeks, the competition will be advertised around the school, Braun said.

“DECA is involve, Kallie and I are trying to set up buckets around the school,” Braun said. “We are trying to get StuCo involved because it really is about them. If the really want the reward they will help get this word out.”

The project leaders encourage participation from the entire school.

“I really want us to win,” Braun said. “So once StuCo knows about it and we get this publicized, the whole school will really be able to make an impact then.”