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Students practice the joy of giving

Dec. 28, 2015

Continuing a tradition that dates back 30 years, the student council sponsored the Monticello High School Holiday Toy Drive.

For one month, funds were collected and deposited in the student council account, while records were kept to see which class would become this year’s greatest donor. This year’s fundraising efforts brought in over $4,000 in donations from first-period homeroom classes in the school’s alternating day schedule. Students and their teachers vied to be the most generous and walk off with a box of blow pops for being one of the top donators, while a breakfast cooked by high school principal Stephen Wilder will be awarded the class that raised the most money.

With wish lists in hand, Toy Drive coordinators, Jordan Drapkin, Allison Kurthy, Allie Linen, Sara Miller and Ciera Moore and their “elves” purchased and wrapped gifts for the children.

“We were able to raise almost $4300” said Kurthy. “As a result we were able to meet our goal of spending $20 per child.”
On delivery day, Santa and his elves used the funds raised to purchase toys which were delivered the next day to the preschool students at Head Start. There, Santa and students went classroom to classroom delivering toys, posing for pictures and playing with the students.

On Wednesday, Dec. 23 the entire school community got to see what their donations accomplished as everyone enjoyed a musical slideshow of pictures from the two days of activity as part of the school’s Annual Holiday Toy Drive assembly.

Students find the hard work of raising funds, purchasing gifts and delivering them to smiling children very rewarding, said Beth Lauri. Mrs. Lauri is a social studies teacher, as well as the College in the Classroom Program Coordinator. She has been involved in the schools annual Thanksgiving Food Drive and Holiday Toy Drive as advisor for 29 years.

“In the years that I’ve been the Toy Drive’s advisor, students raised more than $87,000 and provided toys to over 4400 children,” said Mrs. Lauri, stating that many of the drive’s recipients participate in the Toy Drive once they reach high school.

A special thank you goes to the following groups and individuals that made significant contributions to this year’s Toy Drive:

  • Redemption Lighthouse Church
  • MHS National Honor Society
  • MHS Academy of Finance
  • Coach Russo and MHS basketball team with the donations from the Jingle Ball Classic and their team contribution
  • Paula Drapkin and Amazon for the blow pops
  • L.P. Cimineli
  • Montreign Casino