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Do The Right Thing Student Recognition Awards named

By Staff | Mar 20, 2008

SPECIAL TO THE BREEZE, “mailto:news@breezenewspapers.com”>news@breezenewspapers.com

The Cape Coral Police Department hosted its Do The Right Thing Student Recognition Awards ceremony for the month of January on Wednesday at City Hall. The following students were recognized for their positive attitudes towards school and family, their healthy decisions regarding drugs and violence, as well as their good citizenship.

Overall winner

— Joseph Wester, seventh grade, Mariner Middle School, son of Candy Wester-Eason

Joe was nominated by his great uncle who, in 2006, was hospitalized for congestive heart failure. The doctors told Joe’s parents that he could not live alone any more and Joe overheard them one evening while they talked about getting him into a nursing home. Joe convinced his parents that his Uncle Kenny should live with them and on December 31, 2006, he moved in. On numerous occasions during the years that followed, Joe would help his Uncle Kenny when he was having chest pains. He would get a nitro tablet and put it under his uncle’s tongue then call his mom who works at the hospital for further instruction. According to his uncle, Joe saved his life in this manner on more than 10 occasions.

— Ryan Mirro, fifth grade, Gulf Elementary School, son of Steve and Diane Mirro

About a month ago, Ryan was at his grandparents’ house waiting for his bus when his grandmother had a seizure and passed out. Ryan kept his composure and ran to get his grandfather, who was outside, telling him to call 911. Ryan remained calm and stayed with his grandma while the ambulance came to the house. When his grandmother was taken care of, Ryan got on the school bus and began his school day without telling anyone what had happened for fear of worrying them. For a lot of students Ryan’s age, structure is important in day to day activities, but Ryan was able to remain calm and levelheaded throughout the experience, then refocus his attention when he got to school.

— Shannon McKissock, eighth grade, Trafalgar Middle School, daughter of Frank and Kathleen McKissock

Shannon was nominated by a teacher at Trafalgar Middle School who states, “Every once in a while a child comes along and a person knows that child is destined for greatness. Shannon is just such a child.” Shannon has been an integral part of the Builders Club, an organization modeled after the Kiwanis which does community based projects such as sending care packages to soldiers, baby-sitting for children in foster care, and adopting grandparents at the assisted living facility. Shannon is usually the first student to volunteer for whatever the current project is. At a recent open house for fifth-graders, not only did Shannon man the “Builders Club” booth in order to explain their mission to the incoming students, but she also saw the need to jump in and help several other organizations that were short of help in their booths. Shannon is a member of the Yearbook staff, the National Junior Honor Society and maintains a straight “A” average in school.

— Abbey Gunderson, eighth grade, Diplomat Middle School, daughter of Leslie Gunderson

Abbey has volunteered to be the philanthropy chair of her drama class, and is currently organizing and leading her class in a school-wide fund-raiser. After reviewing numerous organizations which could use their assistance, Abbey invited a representative from the “
Make a Wish” foundation to speak to the group about their cause. Abbey’s drama class chose the “Make a Wish” foundation as the recipient of their efforts with a goal of raising $5,000 to grant a wish to a local child with a life threatening disease. So far, the group has made wishing wells for each classroom so their schoolmates can throw in extra change. The money is counted every day at a booth in the cafeteria where Abbey collects and counts it. So far, the wishing well project has brought in more than $1,000 toward their goal. Abbey also wrote letters to business people who have been donating, and is planning a car wash and lemonade stand in April. Abbey states, “I feel confident we will succeed in our goal to raise the 5,000 dollars.”

— Samantha Licata, third grade, Cape Elementary School, daughter of Laura and James Licata

Over the holidays, Samantha heard that the Salvation Army had been robbed twice, and was saddened by the fact that other boys and girls would go without. She took her concerns to her school and recruited her schoolmates to assist in a toy drive to replenish the Salvation Army’s stock. The drive was so successful that the school had to make two trips to the warehouse. Samantha’s excitement over her success in helping others and her pride in he project led her to state that this was the best Christmas she ever had even though none of the toys were for her. She even urged her mom to take some of the money she would normally spend on Samantha to buy toys for the drive instead. Samantha so inspired her school mates and teachers that many of the teachers also asked others to buy toys for the drive in lieu of gifts for themselves, and some of the students were inspired to think of other service projects to help their community.

— Sara Jackson, seventh grade, Diplomat Middle School, daughter of Lori and Kim Jackson

The drama class at Diplomat Middle School performs two plays a year. Along with each of these events is a drive to help a local charity. Sara stepped up to lead her drama class in collecting clothes for the Abuse, Counseling and Treatment Center. She not only helped to collect the clothing, but also counted, organized, and kept an inventory of each piece, then followed up with a speech to the ACT employees explaining her clothing drive and its outcome. This was no small project as by the time the drive was over, they had collected, sorted, folded and logged more than 6,500 articles of clothing.