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Carson King visits Starmont students after Ronald McDonald House fundraising effort

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FAYETTE COUNTY, Iowa (KWWL) -- Iowa's King of accidental fundraisers paid a visit to the students at Starmont Elementary today to congratulate them on their efforts to raise one million pop tabs for the Ronald McDonald House.

Carson King became Iowa famous after a sign for beer money turned into a national fundraiser that raised $3 million for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital.

Speical Education teacher and Student Council Sponsor, Suzy Hamlett said when King agreed to visit the students if they could reach their goal of one million tabs gave the students the push they needed.

Each year the school does a fundraiser for the Rondal McDonald House but this year's goal was a big one.

King was welcomed with a big round of applause, even getting a standing ovation from the students.

He relived his story that inspired not just Iowa but America.

King told the students how quickly donations began to roll in," I had about $600 and I thought this was going to be a really fun night and then I thought well, there's something better I could do with this."

A lesson of how one selfless gesture can gain momentum, a lesson he hoped to pass on the students.

"One small act of kindness can turn into something huge," said King.

Before King even stepped into the school today he had already inspired students, such as Starmont's Student Body President, Christopher Baumgartner.

"I just said one million because that's what Carson first shot for his goal with the money. So we put it on Facebook," said Baumgartner.

That's when the community stepped in to help, the students got boxes of tabs from all over, even as far as Flordia.

"It wasn't just our school collecting it was all of Iowa," said Baumgartner.

Now their reward was to hear from the King himself and he had a message for them.

"I also learned that social media is super powerful both good and bad," said King.

He touched on the consequences of social media and how a post intended as a 'joke' can squander future plans. King spoke from experience regarding tweets that he feared would ruin his push to raise $3 million.

"Kids hear it every day about how important it is to watch their social media account but you know, we've all been there where you're like I don't care. But when they can really relate to a story and see how important it is to really watch it and be the best person they can be in all forms of their life, that's really important that they realize that and that they learn that," said King.

"It puts a big perspective on our head that you've got to be careful what you put on there," said Baumgartner.

School by school, he hopes to teach the students kindness is King.

Starmont Middle and High School marked at least the 5th school King has visited in 2020. He estimates he's been to about 30 to 40 schools since this all began.

King continues to fundraise for various causes. He's currently working on a future campaign with the Ronald McDonald House and another campaign to help fight Multiple Scoliosis.

He's also selling Kindness is King sweatshirts for charity. However, they are currently sold out.

The Ronald McDonald House recycles the pop tabs as a source of funding. They receive between 40 to 50 cents per pound of pop tabs. It takes more than 1,100 to equal one pound.

I caught up with Carson King after he spoke to the students at Starmont today. He’s on a mission to spread a message that one act of kindness can go a long way. He also spoke on the importance of social media and how the consequences can follow you for years. More tonight at 5 & 6 on KWWL.

Posted by Ashley Neighbor TV on Monday, January 13, 2020

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Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids

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