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When Calub Welty took the welding and equipment-making course last year at Red Lion Area High School, it was sometimes a struggle. With most of the equipment several decades old, sometimes if would fall apart or be difficult to use.

The 17-year-old junior at the high school still goes down to the classroom to weld in his spare time, and he's looking forward to having new equipment to work with soon. The district will be purchasing 10 new Lincoln Arc Welders with a $5,000 donation thanks to the Red Lion Area Educational Foundation.

On Wednesday afternoon, that $5,000 check was presented to welding and equipment-making teacher Heath Neff in front of the faculty and staff by foundation President Michael Smeltzer and Vice President Frank Herron, a former superintendent for the Red Lion Area School District.

While addressing the teachers, Smeltzer recalled touring the technical training area of the high school several years ago and seeing that much of the equipment was out of date.

It was then that the foundation decided to start raising money to buy new welding equipment for the students.

"We recognize the need to provide the highest-quality training programs as possible," Smeltzer said.

Neff explained the 10 new welders will double what the school has now. The 18 to 20 students typically taking the course currently share just five welders. The new welders cost approximately $4,200, and Neff said the rest of the money will purchase supplies.

"It's my goal that you be able to weld, rather than take something somewhere to get it fixed," Neff said to Welty.

As of this year, the school and the foundation will have been partners for 20 years. The Red Lion Area Educational Foundation has given more than a quarter of a million dollars in scholarships to students from Red Lion and frequently helps the district raise money for equipment and other educational needs.

“We are proud of our partnership with the Red Lion Area Educational Foundation," Scott Deisley, the district superintendent, said in a news release. "Working together for 20 years, our students and faculty benefit every day from the partnership between the district and foundation.”

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