Neenah student receives prestigious community service award

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NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY)- A Neenah high school senior is being recognized for launching a foundation that raised more than $50,000 to buy baseball equipment for kids in need.

The foundation is called, "Step Up To The Plate."

Evan Arnold, 17, doesn't shy away from the spotlight when it comes to raising money, and because of that drive he went before the Neenah School Board Tuesday night to receive a special community service award.

Arnold said, "I started Step Up to the Plate when I was nine years old, so 2009, really with my love of baseball and passion through baseball and recognizing that people around the world don't really have the proper equipment to play the game that everybody loves."

The "Prudential Spirit of Community" award is one of two given out each year in Wisconsin by Prudential Financial to students who give back.

In this case, Arnold's charity raised thousands of dollars to buy baseball equipment for kids in 38 different countries.

Neenah Superintendent Mary Pfeiffer added, "One of the things I'm so proud of this award is the volunteer aspect of it. Often times people think that our younger generation might not be as thoughtful or considerate. Evan really epitomizes the importance of giving back."

Along with the award is a thousand dollars and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington D.C. in April.

"My dad has always told me this quote that there's a lot of negative in this world and we need more good people to really push the cause," said Arnold.

Even though Arnold graduates this spring, he hopes to continue his foundation as much as possible through his college years.

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