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December 20, 2012

Fraser High School students learn spirit of giving

By Maria Allard
C & G Staff Writer

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The following Fraser High School students were among those who helped box goods for the Fraser Goodfellows at the school Dec. 15. Pictured, front row, bending, from left: Olivia Fleet and Mckensey Gariepy; second row from left: Andrea Ball, Rachael Griffith, Danielle Stelma, Kaitlyn LaRue against the wall, Nicole Thompson in hat and glasses, and Kristen Siciliano; and back row from left: Bonnie Zablocki, Jeana Gondek, Ambra Bitri and Alec Berger.

FRASER — Families in Fraser who have fallen on hard financial times will have a merrier Christmas this year, thanks to the generosity of Fraser High School students and staff.

Beginning late last month, students and staff began a series of fundraisers and food and toy drives to provide assistance for the school’s food pantry and also for the Fraser Goodfellows, which in turn, helps needy families.

The giving was headed by the school’s 4A groups: athletics, arts — including band, choir, arts and theater — academics and activities. Students and staff collected and donated non-perishable food items and monetary contributions since late November.

“This is all part of our Season of Giving,” English teacher and leadership coordinator Amanda Danek said.

Other staff members who oversaw the project were National Honor Society advisors Deb Tieman and Regina Cable, and student council advisor Melissa Rumminger. A donation of $1,000 also came from the Meijer store at 15 Mile and Utica to purchased canned goods for the Season of Giving.

Season of Giving’s week one was Nov. 26-30. A “giving tree” was set up in the high school’s media center. Danek said staff and students receive information on sizes and gift ideas to benefit Fraser Public Schools elementary, middle school and high school students who could use a little something extra. FHS staff and students take tags that have gift ideas on them and purchase that specific gift.

During week two, held Dec. 3-7, a school-wide decoration and card-making day was held to make cards for local senior citizens, disabled veterans, police officers and firefighters in Fraser.

A canned-food drive was held during week three, Dec. 10-14. Danek said canned goods were collected for the community and the high school’s food pantry.  One way of collecting canned goods was at sporting events.

“If you brought a canned good, you get into the games for free,” Danek said.

Other fundraisers were held, including the Christian Student Union, which raised funds to benefit the Ronald McDonald House in Detroit. The National Technical Honor Society collected hats and gloves during lunch.

On Dec. 15, a Saturday, student athletes and 4A members came to FHS to box about 200 boxes filled with 50 cans each for the Fraser Goodfellows.

“We have 132 families we’re assisting, with over 300 children,” Goodfellows President Robert Brannon said. “Each family gets two boxes of canned goods and a 17-pound turkey. Each child gets $35 worth of toys.”

Meijer gift cards also were doled out, and some children will receive new wheels this Christmas.

“We teamed up with Farmers Insurance in Fraser,” Brannon said. “They donated 22 brand new bikes. It’s awesome.”

Aside from the FHS donations, Brannon said community members donated a total of $33,000 this year. Volunteers from the organization had planned on 54 deliveries and 59 pick-ups Dec. 15. Helping out were Brannon’s daughter Hannah, 12, who attends Richards Middle School, and Matt Casey, Ryan Schafer and Don LaDuke.

During  the week of Dec. 17-21, the FHS held a number of spirit days to get into the mood of the holiday season.

The Fraser Goodfellows hotline number is (586) 294-0450. Monetary donations can be mailed to Fraser Goodfellows P.O. Box 26223 Fraser, MI, 48026. The group also can be reached at Frasergoodfellows@gmail.com.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Maria Allard at allard@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1045.