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Annual Ken-Ton SleepOut raises awareness of homelessness

The 31st annual Jerry Starr Ken-Ton Schools' SleepOut will be held at Hoover Middle School from 8 p.m. Feb. 2 to 6 a.m. the next day in the the parking lot along Sheridan Drive.

Students, family members and other participants sleep outside in refrigerator boxes to raises awareness of those in need.

In the 30 years since the first SleepOut was organized by the late Samuel "Jerry" Starr, the event has helped raise approximately $1 million for local organizations, along with donations of food, clothing and other items.

School Board president Jill O'Malley said she has been sleeping outside in refrigerator boxes with her son for a number of years to support the event, but participants also may sleep inside the cafeteria or stop by and drop off donations or checks, between 7:30 and 10 p.m. Students who stay the night must be accompanied by a parent.

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