(Photo: Volunteers packed more than 100 food baskets and delivered them throughout the community during the weekend of Dec. 16.)
Submitted photos and press release:
Members of the Byron-Bergen Central School District’s learning community can always be counted on to provide assistance to neighbors in need during the holidays. For many years, district students, teachers, staff, and administrators have worked together with local partners to make the season happier for everyone in the Byron-Bergen area.
This year’s Holiday Community Service program collected toys and games, clothing items, rolls of wrapping paper, boxes for wrapping gifts, and more than 1,200 non-perishable food items.
In addition, close to $4,000 was donated by the faculty, staff, and others in our learning community to purchase gifts for district families in need. Many area businesses also helped out by “adopting” local families and individuals, providing special holiday gifts.
The district partnered with the local Hesperus Lodge No. 837 Free & Accepted Masons, where donated items were taken for sorting and packing. Organized by Dick Sands, the Masons, and employees from both the Byron-Bergen Elementary and Jr./Sr. High schools, Board of Education members, and community volunteers pitched in to help. More school volunteers help deliver over 100 food baskets and gifts before the holidays.
“The magic of this special season is the community spirit it inspires in so many of us,” said District Superintendent Mickey Edwards. “I am so proud of the generosity shown by all of our students and by everyone in our schools.”=
A big part of the program’s success this year was the contribution made by the Varsity Club Holiday Food Drive. Student athletes from the high school pulled together to collect more than 850 food items—a record amount.
The drive was organized by student officers Leah Thompson, president; MaKenzie Muoio, vice-president; Morgan Fuller, secretary and Lucas Stucchio, treasurer, and the hard work was provided by the girls and boys basketball and swim teams, and the cheerleading team. Team members pooled their competitive spirit to make the challenge more fun: it became a contest, won by the Cheer Team who collected more than 300 items.
Varsity team members from all three seasons of sport at Byron-Bergen perform community service throughout the school year, with projects like the annual Lift-a-thon, the Retro Apparel Sale, and the spring Blood Drive.
(Photo below: Varsity Club members with a few of the hundreds of donated items collected for the Holiday Food Drive.)