May 7, 2008: Help for senior prom is appreciated

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To The Editor:
On April 9 the Onteora High School Life Skills class and members of Onteora DECA prepared for and hosted a Senior Citizens’ Prom at Al’s Restaurant in Phoenicia. Over 70 guests enjoyed the free music, food and party atmosphere made possible by grant funding provided through the Lower Esopus River Watch’s Learn and Serve America program, NYS Education Department and the Corporation for National & Community Service.
I would like to thank the following local organizations and businesses for their donations: the Phoenicia Rotary Club, American Legion Post 950, Shandaken Memorial Post 2837, the Onteora Teachers’ Association and Ulster Savings Bank.
I would also like to thank the following local businesses for their prize donations towards a raffle: Hong Kong Restaurant, Michael Angelo’s Pizzeria, Phoenicia Pharmacy, Black Bear Hollow Café, Sweet Sue’s, Bread Alone, Russ’s Country Kitchen, Kasey’s Café, Boiceville Supermarket and Al’s Restaurant. Every guest walked out with a prize this year! Many thanks also to Paul Pettinato for the generous use of Al’s Restaurant. This is the third year he has opened his doors to us for this event.
We could not have done this without the help of many. Again, thank you to Jean Douglas, advisor of Onteora DECA, and her many students who volunteered their time and enthusiasm to this event. Many thanks to those members of the Phoenicia Rotary Club and staff members of Al’s Restaurant who volunteered their time to assist us as well. Together we helped create warm memories for seniors in our community. We also provided a lifelong learning experience for our young people.
I am thankful for educational programs that allow students the opportunity to interact with and serve within the community. This particular project promotes and supports interaction among different groups within the school community as well. This experience becomes not only a true hands-on learning experience, but a memory for each student who participates. It gives me great pleasure to know that so many in our community are so supportive of our young people, and of doing something nice for those older people in our community.

Nicole Holmquist
Special Educator
Onteora High School