Archbold, OH
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“Tabs For Tyler” Collects More Than 1500 Pounds Of Pop Tabs




After Tyler Priest was severely injured in a tractor accident near Van Wert on July 6, Archbold and Van Wert high schools made a challenge to each other: who could collect more pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald charities during the 2008 football season.

It didn’t really matter which school collected more. The point was to raise money for the Ronald McDonald Charities.

According to the Van Wert Times-Bulletin, the two schools collected 1,508.7 pounds, or 1,819,224 tabs.

“That would go 505.34 times up and down a football field, end zone to end zone,” said Jill Smelser, one of the organizers.

Priest, 13, is the son of Bob Priest and Kara Priest, formerly of Archbold. Bob was a football coach and teacher at AHS; he now is the head football coach at Van Wert.

Tyler was run over by the tractor from mid-chest level to his head. His brain stem hemorrhaged for about one second; his neurosurgeon told his family it will take two years to heal.

The Priests made use of the Ronald McDonald House in Ft. Wayne, Ind., after Tyler was taken to Parkview Hospital. There is also a Ronald Mc- Donald House in Toledo, next to Toledo Children’s Hospital, where Tyler was transferred in August.

Tyler is home now, and making remarkable progress. He is walking, talking, eating solid food, and going through rehabilitative therapy for three hours every day to recover from the injury.

Tyler recently told a television station his goal is “to walk my calf” at next year’s Van Wert County Fair.

His dad said, “My guess is, if that’s Tyler’s goal, he’ll achieve it.”


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