Dec. 8, 2018
spite of an early snow day and cold weather, Monticello High
School carried out a long-standing tradition on Tuesday
morning, Nov. 23, 2016 -- the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive
assembly. The Thanksgiving Food Drive, which has been held
at the high school for more than 40 years, provides a full
Thanksgiving meal for 100 local families.
More than 1,200 items were displayed on stage in pyramids and stacks so that students and faculty could see a visual representation of their generosity over the past three weeks of homeroom collections.
The Food Drive Chairwomen, Samantha Bisland and Alexis Costa, emceed the assembly by introducing the speakers as well as confirming the classes with the highest collections. They also encouraged their classmates to continue their spirit of generosity, as the annual Toy Drive, another MHS mainstay, was scheduled to begin on Dec. 5.
Speakers included: MHS Principal, Stephen Wilder; Superintendent of Schools, Tammy Mangus; and Chief Professional Officer of the United Way of Sullivan County, Julian Dawson. Mr. Dawson described the positive impact that this event has on the greater community. As a 1999 MHS alumnus Mr. Dawson volunteered with the food drive during his time as a student and now helps refer community members in need to the program through the United Way. All speakers mentioned how proud they were to be a member of the MHS community and how important it was to remember our neighbors during challenging times.
Once the assembly was over, the food drive committee spent the next few hours assembling one hundred baskets and distributing them to community members who braved the bitter wind and cold to receive a basket containing corn, yams, potatoes, green beans, stuffing, cranberry sauce, rolls, pumpkin pie, gravy, peas, and, of course, a turkey.
As child-rights activist Marian Wright Edelman once said, “Service is the rent we pay for being. It is the very purpose of life, and not something you do in your spare time.” Many Monti Panthers learned a very important lesson that day, a lesson which clearly demonstrates that generosity, regardless of however large or small, is something vital to ensuring a thriving community.
Overall, the school community raised more than $4,000. Each homeroom competed to be the top collector and win prizes. The top scoring room was treated to a delicious breakfast cooked by Mr. Wilder, Mrs. Boardman and Mr. Palmer (pictured below).
The top three classes were:
Third place: Mr. Jenks’ class with a total of $252.86
Second place: Mr. Maranzana’s class with a total of $260.30
First place: Mrs. Grote’s class with a generous donation of $429.59
Toy Drive collections began on December 5th and will continue until Dec. 20. Students in Monticello’s Head Start program write letters to Santa Claus listing out their holiday wishes and MHS students help Santa find, purchase and deliver those gifts. Anyone interested in donating may send a monetary gift or Toys R’ Us gift card to Karen Collura’s attention at the high school. Parents of MHS students may send a donation in with their students.