Plainville, Phillipsburg come together for 11 year old girl

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PLAINVILLE, Kan. - Joel Russell was a key Plainville player in the ‘80s and the husband of longtime PHS administrative assistant Amanda Russell.

Their son, Josh, is a starting senior offensive lineman for the Cardinals. Joel recently called Plainville head football coach Grant Stephenson, and let him know about an 11-year-old Phillipsburg girl who has encountered some severely challenging health concerns.

The girl had a headache and ended up in a coma because of a brain aneurism.

Then, Stephenson spoke with Cardinal athletic director Chris Drees. Stephenson asked if Plainville could set something up outside the concession stand for Friday’s contest between the Cardinals and Phillipsburg.

Last year, the football team used the sno cone machine for a fundraiser. Stephenson said to again use the sno cone machine and give all the proceeds to the family.

“Any little way we can help right now,” Stephenson said. “And it brings our community and our kids together. I want our kids to learn that you don’t have to be in the news or anything. I just want you to do good things, because you are supposed to do good things.”

Plainville’s student council led the efforts and has a large response on social media and at the contest. Student Council president Bre Mesecher, also a cheerleader, posted a message on Facebook that was shared more than 200 times.

Student Council vice president Elizabeth Brown helped led the sno cone stand. Fliers were posted throughout the football complex regarding the fundraiser, and the public address announced the news several times through the 21-14 Plainville victory. Brown said others had reached out about wanting to donate.

“We did not think it was going to be this big,” Brown said. “But we knew that she really need some help, and we really wanted to help her – and it was perfect, because this was the Phillipsburg game, so it was going to be great.”

Phillipsburg coach J.B. Covington said the girl is known by many of the football players. He said “it’s been tough” at the school, and called Plainville’s support “tremendous.”

“First and foremost, Plainville is a great community,” Covington said. “And they not only support their kids, they support community kids.”