Port Edwards seniors rise above; Community asked to help send positive message
By City Times staff
PORT EDWARDS – Though school is closed in a physical sense, school spirit is being kept alive at John Edwards High School in Port Edwards, where a collective movement has taken shape.
In an effort to “send out a positive message about coming together versus focusing on the missed milestones of senior year,” the class of 2020 is working to raise money for South Wood County Emerging Pantry Shelf (SWEPS), The Neighborhood Table, United Way of South Wood County, and South Wood County Humane Society.
The idea originated with the class officers, Andrew Moos, Maggie Searles, and Molly McCarthy.
“In a conversation with senior class officers, I asked how they felt about the shutdown. There is a lot of focus on seniors missing out on their final school days, sports, scholarship banquets, etc… People are putting up yard signs, etc…,” said Jennifer Moore, school counselor for grades five through 12. “The seniors I spoke with are sad to be missing these events, but didn’t want to be portrayed as victims either. They recognize everyone in some way is struggling with COVID. They feel there is a bigger picture.
“We are lucky to live somewhere that COVID cases have been sparse. They recognize the economic toll and that nationwide, many people are struggling with bigger issues than what they are as seniors.
“This was all in a zoom conversation. Out of this discussion came a plan to instead turn the narrative a positive direction and figure out how they as a group could do something to support the community.”
The officers spoke with the majority of the seniors to make sure all were on board.
“From there, the other classes, 9-11 jumped on board as well as some sports teams, clubs, etc.,” Moore added.
The students are asking that the community donates to the four organizations by calling Moore at 715-887-9000, Extension 104, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, in an effort to send a positive message.
“I think the goal was to remind everyone that we are in this together and stronger as a community. It is possible to rise above, even in tough times and to give a different perspective in this situation,” Moore stated.
The deadline has now been extended to May 15.
The school is also asking the community to use the hashtag #2020RiseAbove and do their own projects to support others during this time.