Season’s special events

celebrated at Howell H.S.

By dick metzgar

Staff Writer

HOWELL — Fall and winter celebrations and festivities are never more evident than among school children and the students of Howell High School are no exception.

Two of the major events of the season have been the special Veterans Day ceremonies held on Nov. 11 and the ongoing Toys for Tots drive in conjunction with the Marine Corps Reserves, according to William Bruno, the school’s supervisor of extracurricular activities.

Veterans Day services included the dedication of a stone monument and bronze plaque near the flag pole in the grassy circle in front of the school, according to Patricia Blood, student council adviser. The student council and members of the National Honor Society coordinated the event.

"We held memorial services at the close of classes on Veterans Day in recognition of all the men and women who have served our country in the military," Blood said. "The students planted 13 azalea bushes near the monument. Actually, we recognized all of those men and women, including members of the school staff, who served our country in both war and peace."

Special presentations during ceremonies were made by Julia Suppa, president of the student council, and Matthew Neuss, president of the National Honor Society, both seniors.

The school’s choral group, Rebel Yell, sang the national anthem and "America the Beautiful," Blood said. Cara Walsh, a senior, chairwoman of the event, sang the song, "Hero."

"We hope to make this a tradition for every future Veterans Day," Blood said.

The Toys for Tots project is being conducted by the student council under the direction of Blood and Craig Zinkowski, buildings services supervisor, who is a former Marine.

The toy drive was the brainstorm of Bruno and Zinkowski, which they began when they held similar positions at Marlboro High School. Bruno and Zinkowski are both are in their first year at Howell.

"The toys have been coming in fairly well," Zinkowski said.

Unwrapped new toys will be accepted until Dec. 19, Zinkowski said. People wishing to donate toys should bring them to the school’s main office, he said.

Matt Forys, a member of the student council, is chairman of the toy drive.

Giving will also be the central thyme of the winter sports pep rally, according to Blood.

"Students will be asked to bring a toy or canned food as their ticket to the rally," she said.

The school is currently conducting a "giving tree" project, Bruno said.

Students are selecting an ornament from the tree which designates the age and gender of a person for whom they are asked to provide an unwrapped gift. The project started on Dec. 2 and will end on Dec. 17.

All gifts will be turned over to Howell Youth and Family Services for distribution, Blood said.

"Last year, more than 300 students participated," she said.

At 7 p.m. Dec. 17, a winter concert performed by the school’s music department and chorales will be held, Bruno said.

Special ceremonies will carry over into the new year, he added.

On Jan. 25, a Hall of Honor dedication recognizing students for their academic and athletic achievements, in conjunction with Wrestling Alumni Day, sponsored by the Blue and Gray Parents Organization, will be held, he said.