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Sun-Maid hosts assembly at Gilbert Elementary School

Students gather to celebrate their classmate and Board of Imagination member, Ruby Derwin
Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 4:53 PM EDT
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GWINN, Mich. (WLUC) - On Thursday morning, Gilbert Elementary students honored third grader Ruby Derwin. The raisin company Sun-Maid hosted an assembly to applaud her for being on the first-ever Board of Imagination.

“I felt really good,” said Ruby. “I like to be the center of attention every once in a while, but not all the time because I get creeped out.”

In April, Ruby and five other kids from around the country were selected to be on the board as a way for Sun-Maid to have kids use their creativity to help with new products.

The company’s V.P. of Imaginarium, Fernando Herrera, spoke with the students and says Ruby has brought great ideas to the table.

“We have this cinnamon apple raisin that was a little bit off on the cinnamon side,” Herrera said. “And so, Ruby and the team came up with, “Hey, you need to work on that cinnamon level”, and we gave them several options. We tweaked it, and it’s definitely better.”

Principal Marci Paulsen had nothing but praise for Ruby, saying “she is exactly what Sun-Maid needs.”

“It’s going to bring a lot to her future,” Paulsen stated. “On her resume, it’s going to be very cool to say you’re on the Sun-Maid Board of Imagination.”

The students also cheered when the school received Sun-Maid snacks for a year and $5,000. Paulsen says a student council will be formed in the coming weeks, with Ruby and others deciding what to do with the money.

“It could be playground equipment,” Paulsen said. “It could be something else of their choosing. But, it will be the kids and their imagination that tells us what happens with the $5,000.”

Ruby thanks all of those who got her to this point and hopes other kids follow her example.

“I hope that they watch what I do and that they can probably do it, too,” she said.

Ruby’s message to her classmates is this: a child’s imagination can go a long way.

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