Bachelor Helps Distribute Boomerang Backpacks At Harrison

“Bachelor” star Ben Higgins and his fiance, Lauren Bushnell, Thursday afternoon helped distribute 55 Boomerang Backpacks to students in grades kindergarten through third at Harrison Elementary School.
The backpack program is a free weekend food distribution program that provides economically challenged elementary students a backpack filled with healthy food for the weekend during the school year, according to Tracey Akers, adult coordinator for Boomerang Backpacks.
“It’s tremendous that they are willing to come and show support of this program that helps feed elementary students on weekends that maybe don’t have food,” Akers said.
The backpacks included items like soup cans or macaroni and cheese, fruit cups, juice and breakfast items.
Higgins said it is a gift to him to be back at Harrison where he attended elementary school.
“It’s fun to see supportive people and come back to an elementary school that cares about our lives now,” Harrison said. “I was catching Lauren up on just how supportive this community is.”
Bushnell said she was in Warsaw when the show was being filmed, and being back in the city again she has gotten a chance again to see the place Higgins’ grew up and meet his teachers.
Lee Snyder, Harrison principal, said it was kind of Higgins and Bushnell to help distribute the backpacks.
“We feel blessed and thankful for them. Ben and Lauren have been very gracious and kind to us and were natural with the kids,” Snyder said.
Wendy Harges, Higgins’ sixth grade teacher, said he was an excellent student and was a kind young man.
“He was always upbeat and happy and was a good kid,” Harges said. “One of the things he could give back to the community is being an excellent role model and being on ‘The Bachelor’ he made a lot of people in this community proud.”
Before distributing the backpacks, the school’s Parent Teacher Organization planned a pizza lunch with Higgins and Bushnell at the school for students who won a silent auction during the Feb. 26, Harrison Elementary school carnival.
The three Harrison students who won the lunch were Alexa Rapsavage, Ryan Darlington and Mylee Rose Jackson.  These three girls brought seven of their friends to the lunch: Abby Coffing, Yareli Bautista, Annika Burner, Tessa Graney, Avery Landwerlen, Lauren Hall and Addison Williams. Also present at the lunch were Snyder and former Harrison principal Randy Polston.
The lunch consisted of Ben giving each of the ten Harrison girls a rose.
Bushnell gave each girl a candy diamond ring and a Mud Love “hope” bracelet. After Higgins and Bushnell took many pictures with the students, they all enjoyed Pizza Hut pizza and Betty’s Cake Shop “rose” cookies.
The students were able to ask them questions during the lunch, and  Higgins and Bushnell told them about their experience being on “The Bachelor.” Higgins and Bushnell autographed several items for the Harrison students, such as 8×10 photos of the couple.
As a “thank you” the school gave them a giant poster picture of the two of them,  signed by each of the 10 Harrison girls who attended the lunch.
Yearbooks that had pictures of Higgins were on display at the school.