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Junior high pupil raises $4,000 for SCV Food Pantry

Posted: March 14, 2008 12:30 a.m.
Updated: May 15, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Members of the Honor Society at La Mesa Junior High collected $4,000 in donations for the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry. From left are Kristie Moody, Andie Hill, Jordan Dulay and Dane Cannon.

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After reading about a local student who was inspired to collect food for the SCV Food Pantry when he saw a commercial for a television show, the executive producer of that show was inspired to get out his checkbook and make his own donation to the food pantry.

Howard Schultz, executive producer of the new Fox reality show "The Moment of Truth," saw The Signal's article about La Mesa Junior High student Dane Cannon and his food drive in February, and sent Dane a letter along with a $1,000 check made out to the SCV Food Pantry.

"I'm pretty glad I saw that commercial," said Dane, who is now a fan of the show. "A lot of things happened because of it."

The commercial Cannon saw showed a girl hooked up to a polygraph machine being asked if she cared about the starving children in Africa. Wanting to answer truthfully, the girl said, "no."

In his letter, Schultz said he created the show because he had grown tired of the amount of lying in the world. People tend to give answers that make them look good, but that don't represent how they really feel, he wrote.

Inspiring a young person to go out and try to make a difference in the world was "a residual effect of the show that I never expected," Schultz wrote.

"You were touched in a different way," Schultz wrote to Cannon. "I was touched by your honesty and wanted to support your desire to do something good in the world."

In addition to the check from Schultz, Cannon and his friends and fellow honor students who helped with the food drive, Jordan Dulay, Andie Hill and Kristie Moody, collected around $3,000 worth of food for the food pantry.

"We had already raised a lot, so (the check) was like a bonus," he said. The people at the food pantry were happy when he told them about the donation, and said they would use it to buy milk and other perishable items that can't be donated.

"They were really happy to hear about it," Cannon said.

He said he has now watched "The Moment of Truth" and likes the show.

"Some of their answers are funny, and some are important," he said. "I like that it makes people think, so maybe someone else will go out and do what I did."

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