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Pride in the Tiger gets $10,900 grant

Photo by Deb Gau Representatives of Taco Bell in Marshall presented the Pride in the Tiger Foundation with a grant of $10,900 from the Taco Bell Foundation. The money will go to help support career exploration opportunities for Marshall students. Pictured are Todd Versteeg, COO of Taco Bell in Marshall, Matt Suby, MHS Principal Brian Jones, Shay Vandendriessche, MPS Superintendent Jeremy Williams, PITF Executive Director Krista Bjella, PITF board president Carl Johnson, Taco Bell general manager Robby Olson, and Taco Bell CEO and President Seth Skogen.

MARSHALL — A Marshall business made a more than $10,000 contribution to local education this week.

On Thursday, representatives of the Marshall Taco Bell presented the Pride in the Tiger Foundation with a $10,900 grant from the Taco Bell Foundation.

“It’s nice that we’re able to give to the community,” said Todd Versteeg, COO at Taco Bell in Marshall. “We hope that we can keep giving to the schools.”

PITF Executive Director Krista Bjella said the grant will help support career pathway education at Marshall schools.

“It’s all about getting (students) hands-on experience,” she said.

PITF, which works to support teachers and students at public and private schools in Marshall, is one of more than 450 youth-serving organizations receiving Community Grants from the Taco Bell Foundation this year. A total of nearly $23 million in grants will be presented around the country, Taco Bell Foundation spokespeople said in a news release.

“Our Community Grants program is unique, because the funds are dispersed back to organizations in the local community they are raised in,” said Neil Borkan, chairman of the Taco Bell Foundation. “We are so thankful for the generosity of our partners, customers, and Taco Bell team members that make it possible for us to continue serving youth across the country.”

This is the second year in a row the foundation has received a Taco Bell Foundation grant. Last year, PITF received a grant of $10,650, which was used to help purchase supplies and equipment for the Career and Technical Institute in Marshall.

“It was such an honor to be invited to apply again this year,” Bjella said.

Bjella said the funds from this year’s grant will be used to help provide hands-on career exploration experiences for students in middle and high school.

“We’re grateful to these organizations that give back to the community so generously,” Bjella said.

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