LEROY — Students in Scott Benson’s classroom at Pine River High School have been lending a helping hand and learning work skills in the local area, and were recently given financial support to help with outreaches.

On Tuesday, Grand Knight Wayne Boorsma of the Knights of Columbus Lake County Council No. 13865 handed Benson a check for more than $730.

Benson’s class is a comprehensive special education program including a work study option.

“Our class focuses on work-based projects,” Benson said. “The students helped load and unload gifts for the Department of Health and Human Services Christmas for Kids in Baldwin this past year. We also do a lot of recycling projects. This is an innovative program which even students from other schools are part of.

“When these students walk out of here, they are equipped with job skills. They are great workers,” he said.

The check Boorsma presented to Benson helps make the students’ outreaches and trips to obtain work skills possible.

Boorsma explained the money was raised by a Tootsie Roll drive at several businesses in Lake County.

“We collected more money last year than the previous year, and were able to give more to the Pine River High School special education program and the Good Time Bowlers, who bowl at the Baldwin Bowling Center. Each received a check for $735.13,” Boorsma said.

Boorsma is planning another Tootsie Roll drive in the spring.

“The members of the Knights of Columbus Lake County Council No. 13865 appreciate the outpouring of generosity by the people of Lake County and those who visit our area. We aim to help our community in every way we can and their generosity makes it possible,” Boorsma said.