High schools again provide holiday helpers

By Steve Williams

While much of Knoxvillians’ interest, along with their thoughts and prayers, has been in the deadly and destructive wildfires that struck the Sevier County area recently, the holiday season has continued with its many events on the local scene.

And once again, high school student-athletes and cheerleaders have stepped up to help out.

“The Halls cheerleaders have done several community service projects this Christmas season,” said Cheri Duncan, cheer coach, via e-mail last week. “We worked Fantasy of Trees and Angel Tree.”

At the Fantasy of Trees, the Halls cheerleaders worked the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, painting faces and doing the potholder activities.

After that, the Halls cheerleaders worked two full weekends wrapping gifts for donations for the Angel Tree at West Town Mall.

“Last weekend (Dec. 10), we collected over 11 shopping carts full of donated items and wrapped a ton of gifts for donations,” said Duncan.

“We feel that it is very important to give back to the community that has been so supportive of us. We as a squad have everything that we need and want to make sure that others have the same.”

Central High’s cheerleaders rang bells Saturday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Kroger in Fountain City, reported Coach Jackie Raley.

Members of Fulton’s softball team were volunteers at the Subway Race Against Cancer the week before Thanksgiving break, noted Coach Jason Settle.

The Bearden baseball team partnered with the Salvation Army on Dec. 3 in the Red Kettle campaign.

“We rang bells and welcomed guests to the Kroger at Northshore and Pellisippi,” said Bulldogs skipper John Rice. “Also, we volunteered as ushers on Dec. 10 for the Nativity Pageant of Knoxville at the KCAC.”

Jimm Allen, Assistant Principal at L & N STEM Academy, stated “Our swim team met at the West Towne Mall to shop together for the Angel Tree last weekend (Dec. 10). They donated quite a bit!”

The Bearden boys basketball team’s community service involved volunteering at the annual Weigel’s Family Christmas, reported James Scales, Bearden assistant coach.

“The one that comes to mind is a service project our boys basketball team recently did while playing in a Thanksgiving tournament in the Bahamas,” e-mailed Melissa Tindell, Director of Communications at Christian Academy of Knoxville. “CAK players transported suitcases of relief supplies for residents in the Bahamas, who recently suffered the effects of a hurricane.”

The holiday spirit of giving will continue this week as Tennessee School for the Deaf’s girls basketball team will be shopping and delivering Angel Tree boxes, noted Luke Benson, TSD Athletic Director.