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Bryan High students help Lester Banks win United Way pizza contest & fundraiser

The students collected more than $400 in cash to help the longtime Bryan High School employee win the fundraiser contest.
Students collected more than $400 in cash to help Lester Banks, a longtime Bryan High School...
Students collected more than $400 in cash to help Lester Banks, a longtime Bryan High School employee, win a pizza recipe and fundraiser contest for the United Way's Youth Leadership Cabinet.(Photo provided by Maggie Montoya Gray, United Way of the Brazos Valley)
Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 8:22 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - Lester Banks, Jr. received a phone call Wednesday night from a group of high school students telling him they needed to quickly meet at a local fast-food restaurant. The students didn’t elaborate on the reason for the meeting, but Banks rushed over fearing something was wrong.

“Man, I get to Whataburger and they were all in a huddle in the parking lot and when I got out of the car they yelled “SURPRISE!,” said Banks.

Banks, a longtime and beloved employee of Bryan High School was stunned to learn the teens were there to give him a cash donation for a fundraiser contest for the United Way of the Brazos Valley.

“Oh, they got me good. They got me good. They said ‘Lester, you do a lot for us, so it’s our time to do it for you,” said Banks.

The students on Wednesday learned Banks was a pizza chef in a Best Pizza fundraiser contest for the United Way Youth Leadership Cabinet. Banks was competing against eight other chefs to raise the most money and to take the top spot.

After learning his cheeseburger pizza recipe, “The Lester Special”, was in second place as the contest was coming to an end Wednesday evening, the students worked quickly to raise $433 in cash to give to Lester for his fundraiser. It was enough to put him in first place at the end of the contest! In all, Banks raised nearly $700 for the Youth Leadership Cabinet.

His pizza will now be featured on the menu next month at local DoubleDave’s Pizza restaurants.

Together with the other chefs, more than $2100 was raised for the Youth Leadership Cabinet.

The United Way Youth Leadership Cabinet is a student-led organization that seeks to strengthen the Brazos Valley by connecting, serving and leading in their community.

The Youth Leadership Cabinet is made up of high school students from 8 local high schools, A&M Consolidated High School, Allen Academy, Brazos Christian School, Bryan Collegiate High School, Bryan High School, College Station High School, College View High School and Rudder High School.

Learn more at uwbv.org/youthleadershipcabinet.

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