The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

February 14, 2013

'Buddy Day' a great cure for the winter blues

Star Beacon

CONNEAUT — On Feb. 8, Conneaut High School students participated in various activities with intentions to not only raise money, but to also escape the winter blues. During the day, students took part in the much anticipated Buddy Day, attended the rival basketball game against Edgewood, and ended their night at the Snow Dance.

Buddy Day is a yearly fund-raiser sponsored by the sophomore class officers. This year officers Brandon Jashurek, Kyra Cobb, Dani Heinonen and Carly Schreiber helped adviser Barbara Krasicki host this long awaited event. Buddy Day begins with volunteer students and teachers being “auctioned off” at the Buddy Day assembly that takes place a week prior to the event. The students or teachers who “purchase” these volunteers can dress their buddies up, make them carry their books, perform at lunch, or do many other tasks.

In order to purchase a buddy, bidders take part in a vigorous auction which requires a minimum $5 bid. The sale price can get as high as $60. All of the money benefits the sophomore class.

Many students have volunteered as buddies more than once. One of these students is senior Michael Mirando. Mirando was purchased by guidance counselor Artemis Mermis who collaborated with wrestling coach Matt Bidwell this year. He feels that Buddy Day is “a fun spin on what would otherwise be a normal school day.”

Four time senior buddies, Maria Perkio, Alesha Zappitella and Brandy Manfredonia, were purchased this year by art teacher Stephanie Chase. They dressed up like Oompa Loompa’s from the movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” In past years, they have dressed up as Smurfs, babies and leprechauns.

After the school day, the students attended the basketball game against rival Edgewood Senior High School. The gym was packed, and the stage crew was ready to cheer their team on. Both the junior varsity and varsity Conneaut teams played a well fought game, but fell just short. At the game, there were also a variety of other entertainments. The Wildfire Dance competition team performed during the varsity and junior varsity halftimes. Also during the junior varsity halftime, first grader Dominic Evans performed his amazing card throwing act. He threw playing cards the entire length of the basketball court and to fans in the bleachers. His amazing throws could also slice right through sticks of celery and pop a balloon.

Another event during the game was the announcing of the 2013 Snow Court and the crowning of its queen. The Snow Court included seniors Amber Barnhart, Lydia Coccitto, Caitlin Cole, Brooke Lahnan, Carissa Nardo and Brooke Sanford. The court members were nominated by the senior class and the queen was chosen by CHS staff. The ceremony took place between the varsity and junior varsity games.

Caitlin Cole was crowned Queen by the captains of the basketball team, Christian Williams, Nick Blood and Bud Ritari. The Snow Queen then sang the National Anthem before the game started.

“It was an honor not only winning Snow Queen, but also being able to sing the National Anthem. It was an amazing night thanks to all of my friends, and I am very proud of our basketball team. They played a great game,” Cole said.

During the game, Conneaut High School’s National Honor Society put on a bake sale and ran a 50-50 raffle in order to raise money for the leukemia and lymphoma society. Many players, coaches, students and staff wore pink throughout the day to support the fight against cancer. The Stage Crew filled the stage with students in pink T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats.

Following the game was the Snow Dance, which was a fund-raiser for the freshmen class. Class officers, Morgan Holtzman, Amanda Chadwick, Lauren Kardohley and Rashad Al-Arabi, and adviser Kari McKinely put on this event.

“The dance was a lot of fun. Everyone loved the music and had a good time. I was happy to have contributed,” said vice president Amanda Chadwick.

The entire day gave the students something to be excited about while raising money for various non-profit groups and organizations.