Celina Varacalli

General Amherst staff, students hit the volleyball court in memory of former teacher

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Staff and students at General Amherst High School had a chance to gain calories in one gymnasium and work them off in the next, all in the name of fundraising.

The local public high school held a fundraiser which included a staff-student volleyball game in the main gymnasium and a bake sale in the smaller gymnasium. Proceeds will benefit the local chapter of the ALS Society.

This year’s event was originated by students Celina Varacalli and Katie McEvoy, and those two students brought the idea to the school’s fitness and recreational leadership class. Varacalli and McEvoy said the fitness and recreational leadership class did a lot of the work in organizing the event.

General Amherst teacher Jeff Miller hits a ball over the net during a recent staff-student volleyball game. The event raised over $2,000.

“We had a lot of hands on deck this year,” said Varacalli.

Varacalli noted that last year’s event raised about $1,300 and featured a walkathon and T-shirt sales. This year’s event topped $2,000.

While T-shirts were also available this year, they wanted to change things up and chose the bake sale and staff-student volleyball game that came as part of suggestions from the rest of the student body.

“We picked the ideas we liked,” said McEvoy.

McEvoy said the event was in memory of long-time coach and teacher Dave Scott, who had ALS and died last year.

“It’s great to give back to the community,” McEvoy added.

General Amherst High School held a bake sale as part of their fundraiser for the ALS Society, in
memory of former teacher/coach Dave Scott. From left: Lexi Newhook, Katie McEvoy, Grace Duggan, Celina Varacalli and Alyssa Jones.

Varacalli added they hope to keep the spirit alive to future Bulldogs. Both McEvoy and Varacalli gave credit to the fitness and recreational leadership class for their work in presenting the event.

Teacher Greg Scott said his students get an opportunity to work on such projects and when Varacalli and McEvoy came forward, they treated them as their clients and worked on their behalf. He added it took about three weeks to come together and groups worked on their own to complete the projects.

General Amherst students raise more than $2,000 for ALS Society

 

 

By Jolene Perron

 

In the name of coach Dave Scott, leadership students Katie McEvoy and project partner Celina Varacalli have presented a $2,135.35 cheque to Sharon Colman, president of the ALS Society of Windsor Essex County.

“It’s kind of awesome because Coach Scott was my coach so it feels really nice,” said McEvoy. “Knowing where it’s going is also really nice, to help other people who have ALS. It was really stressful, I missed a lot of class to do it, but I think it was worth it in the final event. Everyone said that it turned out really good and a lot of people showed up. We raised past our goal and we got a lot of positive feedback.”

General Amherst students Celina Varacalli (left) and Katie McEvoy (right) present Sharon Colman, president of the ALS Society of Windsor Essex County (center) with a cheque for $2,135.35.

After the two held their run Oct. 23, they called Colman, who is also a General Amherst alumni, and said she was “dumbfounded” to hear how much they had raised.

“I think it’s a reflection of the community and the love they had for Dave,” said Colman. “We are just so grateful and I hope some of these kids will take forward what they know about ALS and when they hear about ALS, they will realize there are organizations out there that are helping. Their funding will help provide some equipment to those with ALS.”

 

General Amherst hosts third annual teddy bear drive

 

By Danica Skakavac

This year marks the third annual year of the Teddy Bear Drive hosted by General Amherst students Celina Varacalli and Cristina Cercel. The drive ran from February 20 to the 28 but was extended to March 3.

For these two weeks, students had the opportunity to bring in new bears to their second period class in hopes of winning a Bull’s Eye pizza party. There was also the option of participating in a raffle, so students could buy tickets for a gift basket instead.

The total number of bears once the drive finished was 143. The custodian, Jim Craig, kindly donated 25 of those bears. From the earnings of the raffle, Varacalli used the money to purchase 67 of those total bears. All the bears will be given to the pediatric floor for sick kids at the Windsor Regional Hospital.

General Amherst High School donated 143 teddy bears to Windsor Regional Hospital just prior to March Break. From left: Cristina Cercel, Windsor Regional Hospital vice president of public affairs, communications and philanthropy Ron Foster and Celina Varacalli. (Photo by Danica Skakavac)

General Amherst High School donated 143 teddy bears to Windsor Regional Hospital just prior to March Break. From left: Cristina Cercel, Windsor Regional Hospital vice president of public affairs, communications and philanthropy Ron Foster and Celina Varacalli. (Photo by Danica Skakavac)

“There’s a lot of sick kids in Windsor and Essex County so if General Amherst could help in any way, it would be giving teddy bears to put a smile on their faces,” said Celina Varacalli, who had been the brains and brawn of the operation this year.

She added she was, “proud of the outcome. General Amherst did a great job.” According to Ron Foster, the Vice President of Public Affairs, Communication and Philanthropy of Windsor Regional Hospital, they need literally thousands of bears because new children are always coming in.

“The bears reduce anxiety and stress when they come in the hospital,” said Foster. And the best part is, every child gets to keep it.