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Oswego School Nurses Coordinate Massive Holiday Giving To Benefit Local Families

OSWEGO, NY – The tradition continues.

Every holiday season the Oswego City School District is the center for a huge “Share and Care” project that benefits hundreds of persons from throughout the area.

As in the past numerous partnerships have been reinforced and nurtured.  Once again children and families in need benefited from an outpouring of generosity.

Kingsford Park third graders had a successful spell-a-thon and went holiday shopping for their holiday giving program at Wal-Mart. Joan Carroll, Alyson Geers and Alexys Geers enjoyed their shopping experience.
Kingsford Park third graders had a successful spell-a-thon and went holiday shopping for their holiday giving program at Wal-Mart. Joan Carroll, Alyson Geers and Alexys Geers enjoyed their shopping experience.

Holiday projects generated food, toys and clothing for hundreds of people.

No matter where you turned in the district during the past several weeks there were efforts underway at every level from the schools to the Education Center as the desire to provide a brighter holiday in tough economic times proved once again to be a success.

School nurses coordinated the effort as each school conducted extensive t holiday giving projects.

Oswego High School nurse Christina Chamberlain explained, “This year we were able to provide one hundred $30 gift cards to Wal-Mart as well as provide coats, boots, gloves and other necessities including full holiday meals, with assistance from Entergy, to nearly 30 Oswego High School families.”

Chamberlain also noted also donated were food staples for the week of vacation as some of students only eat when they are attending school.

These KPS youngsters went shopping with a parent as part of the third grade spelling project. Alec Caroccio, Dane Richardson and parent Ben Richardson all shopped to brighten the holiday for someone less fortunate.
These KPS youngsters went shopping with a parent as part of the third grade spelling project. Alec Caroccio, Dane Richardson and parent Ben Richardson all shopped to brighten the holiday for someone less fortunate.

Not only has this been a great effort by the high school family, but it would not have been possible without the assistance of Entergy Nuclear Operations, the Lake City Police Club ($200 to every school), Children’s Board, Wal-Mart, Meg Quigley, OHS Food Service, Key Club, Jane Catalone, Jim Jackson, Stacey Seubert, Newman Center, the OHS Nurse’s office, the OHS faculty and staff as well as Key Club.

At Oswego Middle School there were a dozen families who were supplied with a full Christmas dinner and 50 children received gifts as Entergy, Compass Federal Credit Union, People for Poverty, Children’s Board of Oswego, Lake City Police as well as the faculty and students came together to contribute to this worthwhile effort.

Nurse Mary Pensero noted, “The students from the 7 South team had a dance with more than 300 students attending. A ‘giving tree’ was set up and students brought new hats, gloves and mittens to be donated to those in need. A huge box of winter gear was collected.”

Nearly 10 days before Christmas the scene in the mini-theatre at Fitzhugh Park Elementary School was mind boggling as boxes packed with goodies were stacked from the first step to the top of the room. Entergy volunteers were on hand to load the items into vehicles for delivery to 44 families including 122 youngsters.

Entergy employees volunteered to deliver the Fitzhugh Park Elementary School holiday donations to families. School Nurse Mary Ann Murray was joined by Randy Murray, Keith Stone and Billy Hall.
Entergy employees volunteered to deliver the Fitzhugh Park Elementary School holiday donations to families. School Nurse Mary Ann Murray was joined by Randy Murray, Keith Stone and Billy Hall.

Fitzhugh Park Elementary School Principal Donna Simmons noted, “The entire school community has come together for the Holiday Drive and we hope it will help spread joy for everyone this holiday season. A special thanks to Therese McAdams and Mary Ann Murray for their tremendous time and effort in coordinating this huge drive. Another ‘thank you’ goes to the numerous parent volunteers who assisted in sorting and packing all of the donations. “

School Nurse Murray explained, “We have had donations from Entergy, Constellation, YMCA, Century 21, J.C. Penney, Wal-Mart, Eagle Beverage, Kiwanis, Raby’s, Toys for Tots, the Radiation Protection Department of Entergy, Dr. Kearns, Oswego Hospital Fourth Floor, Silver Star Association, Lake City Police, People Against Poverty, Kevin Dorsey, the Education Center, Constellation, Hibernians Patricia Runeari and sisters, Sean Madden, faculty and staff.”

Continuing she said, “Once again we had help from some employees of Entergy from Radiation Protection, the Y and Eagle Beverage to help us deliver the massive amount of donations as families received gifts, toys and food for the holidays.”

Minetto Elementary School Nurse Ann Powell said, “This year we are helping out 43 families in the ‘Minetto family’ and it could not have been made possible without the generous donations of numerous organization and people.”

Delivering donations for the Kingsford Park Holiday Gift Giving Project were several retired district employees along with current workers. From left are Arnie Whiting, Rick Harvell, Doug Campbell, Steve Quesnell and Tom McAnaney while in front is Lance Breitbeck.
Delivering donations for the Kingsford Park Holiday Gift Giving Project were several retired district employees along with current workers. From left are Arnie Whiting, Rick Harvell, Doug Campbell, Steve Quesnell and Tom McAnaney while in front is Lance Breitbeck.

Supporting the holiday drive at Minetto Elementary School were Entergy, Our Lady of Perpetual Health Catholic Church,  Minetto United Methodist Church, People Against Poverty at the Newman Center, Lake City Police, Oswego Hospital Pharmacy Staff, Oswego Town Office Staff, Oswego Town Volunteer Fire Department, Minetto Volunteer Fire Department, SUNY Oswego Auxiliary Services employees, Oswego Hospital employees, Fulton Elks Club, Constellation, Stewart’s, Wal-Mart, Oswego Elks Club and Minetto’s faculty, staff and students.”

The Kingsford Park holiday project helped 35 families this year and 107 students were assisted as they received children’s toys, warm blankets and socks, outfits, a toy or two and a holiday dinner.

School Nurse Annalee Harrell said, “We received support from our third grade class when they raised money with their spell-a-thon then went shopping at Wal-Mart to purchase gifts.  Support was also received from the KPS Home and School Association, the Ladies of the Elks, the Newman Center Committee on Poverty, Meg Quigley, Paul’s Big M, and Children’s Board , Lake City Police along with generous donations from Entergy and Wal-Mart and donations from the KPS families, staff and retirees.”

Once again the school nurse at Frederick Leighton Elementary School explained that the need was there and the desire to assist was ever-present.

Toni Hackett said, “The Christmas project was a joyous event for 21 of our families. Food and gifts were provided through the generous donations that were received from the Frederick Leighton School faculty, staff and students as well as the Entergy Adopt a School grant, Wal-Mart, Lake City Police Club, Children’s Board, the Newman Center People Against Poverty, Elks Ladies Auxiliary 271, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians. As always, a special thank you goes to the FLS Home and School Association for their support, not only during the holiday season, but throughout the school year.”

Principal Julie Burger said, “When it comes to support people in need, the Leighton faculty, staff along with parents and students are the very best. The FLS Character Education Club along with the FLS Student Council made food boxes for families who could use a little extra support during holiday time. School supplies were also gathered. Our character education trait is kindness and generosity for this month and everyone has sure come through with their extra efforts to help.”

Charles E. Riley School’s 2009 Christmas Giving Project was a huge success.

At Leighton Elementary School a “Jeans Day” donation project resulted in donations to the Human Concerns and Salvation Army. Joining in the effort were Tanya Gordon and Jennifer Symborski.
At Leighton Elementary School a “Jeans Day” donation project resulted in donations to the Human Concerns and Salvation Army. Joining in the effort were Tanya Gordon and Jennifer Symborski.

Nurse Eileen Robinson said, “We helped 25 families with 70 children. Our sixth graders held a spelling bee and raised enough money to buy each child two toys. Wal-Mart sent a bus and 36 sixth graders went shopping at Wal-Mart for the toys. Student Council had a Santa Hat day and raised enough money to help with the purchase of groceries for the families. Each grade brought in a specific food item so that each family received a box of food staples and a turkey or ham.”

Continuing she said, “Other participants in our program were: Riverview Wellness Center, People Against Poverty, Entergy and several of its individual departments, OVI Insurance Agency, Oswego Hospital’s Fourth floor staff, The Hibernians, The Ladies of the Elks, The Lake City Police, Riley Home and School, Riley parents, faculty and staff and the Oswego Professional Business Women’s Club.

Superintendent of Schools Bill Crist summarized the massive effort by saying, “I commend our staff and students in supporting our Oswego community by the involvement in personal service and club and organization contributions to the many ‘Giving Trees,’ Toys-For-Tots, and food pantry programs that exist in our schools particularly at this time of year. It brings great pride to know of the hours and dollars provided by our staff and students during this holiday season – providing support and service to many families and children in our community. Teaching service and volunteerism is a necessary attribute of a successful and productive society member.”

In conclusion he said, “Through the great cooperation of the people, organizations and businesses in the Oswego area this is a tremendous project which has been extremely successful.”