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Former teacher and baseball coach Ron Widbin poses with a Guatemalan student wearing a shirt from an RBHS rival: Helias. Widbin is asking RBHS staff and students to donate t-shirts supporting the Bruins to clothe children in Guatemala. Photo provided by Denise McGonigle.

T-shirt drive supports children in Guatemala

Former teacher and baseball coach Ron Widbin sent this picture with a Guatemalan student wearing a shirt from an RBHS rival, Helias. Widbin is asking RBHS staff and students to donate T-shirts supporting the Bruins to clothe children in Guatemala. Photo provided by Denise McGonigle

It’s not only in Columbia, MO. where the community supports the Bruins.

Last week, front office secretary Denise McGonigle, principal Mark Maus’ secretary, sent out an email to the RBHS faculty announcing a T-shirt drive, with plans of sending the acquired RBHS-promoting clothing nearly 2,400 miles away from home.

Former broadcast journalism teacher and baseball coach Ron Widbin and his wife are spending a year in Guatemala. Widbin is showing people in that country how to use a camera and report stories, and his wife, also a former Columbia Public Schools teacher, is educating the children in their community.

“They just decided that they wanted to do this mission work,” McGonigle said, “so they went to live in Guatemala for a year.”

Widbin sent an email to fellow baseball coach Justin Towe with a picture of a person from Guatemala wearing a Helias T-shirt. In the email, he said, “Look what I’m having to deal with over here. Our competition!”

Towe then forwarded the email to McGonigle. She said her and Towe got to talking and thought of having a drive to collect RBHS T-shirts to send to the citizens of Guatemala. So far, McGonigle has collected at least 20 shirts, creating a sizable pile building up next to her desk.

“I think it’s going to warm [Widbin’s] heart,” McGonigle said. “He has a really big heart, and he loves Rock Bridge. … After he retired, he kept subbing here because he really just wanted to be around Rock Bridge.”

RBHS Assistant Principal David Bones said there are several T-shirts in the basement from past RBHS events, including homecoming, and he plans on donating those for McGonigle to send to Guatemala.

“We usually keep [the shirts] around in case there’s a need for them,” Bones said. “This seemed like a cool opportunity to be able to help some people out and move some of these shirts along.”

By Maddie Magruder

Students and faculty can bring RBHS shirts of any size to Mrs. McGonigle in the main office.

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