It is the time of year when businesses, organizations, individuals, and schools donate to the United Way of Audrain County.

The Mexico School District's Early Childhood Center held a Caring Coins competition between classes to see which class could raise the most money for United Way. "They would bring in their change and put it in a bucket," said Emily Schmidt, director of Early Childhood and Special Education. Their total goal was $450. They blew the total out of the water with a grand total of $979.44. Schmidt plans to add to the total to make it an even $1,000.

"I am so proud of them," she said.

The individual class that raised the most money was to be treated to a pizza party with a police officer. The four morning classes raised a total of $857.54. "They (the morning classes) did so well, I decided to surprise them with a pizza party for all the morning classes," Schmidt said.

To make it a bigger surprise, the pizzas were delivered Thursday morning, not only by one police officer but four including Chief Susan Rockett, Major Brice Mesko, and School Resource Officers Kevin Patrick and Alma Hayes.

A breakdown of the classes include: morning classes: Kayla Hildebrand's class, $299.94; Dot Quinlan's class, $298.57; Kathryn Lehnen's class, $193.52; and Molly Vagen's class, $65.51.

Afternoon classes: Hildebrand's class, $54.64; Lehenen's class, $29.18; Quinlan's class $21.91; and Vagen's class, $16.17.