Local students showcase work at Annual Pride, Patriotism Concert
The Lee County School District hosted the Sixth Annual Pride and Patriotism Concert Wednesday night inside the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. The annual event celebrates the arts and honors all of America’s veterans.
The concert was almost canceled because of the tight budgetary year, but local fund-raising efforts by the Pride and Patriotism Committee secured enough funding for the event.
“Our committee members are veterans, people from the community and our own people who are giving up their time because they believe in program. We all work very hard to put it on,” said Elinor Scricca, school board member and committee co-chair. “We usually fill up the hall.”
It was filled to capacity and featured students from all over Lee County showcasing their art, poetry and musical abilities.
Michael Hall, music director for the Southwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, led student musicians in patriotic works such as “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The Ida S. Baker High School Band, led by Richard Brown, also performed the national anthem.
The highlight of the evening was a presentation of medals to Lee County students for their art and poetry. Student work from all over the county was submitted by teachers to judges earlier this year.
Winners were recognized on stage, accompanied by a teacher from their school as well as a local veteran.
Students from kindergarten to second grade worked under the theme “March of the Brave.” Winners for art included Brenda Mendiola from Manatee Elementary, Jeremy Stewart from J. Colin English and Sydney Hutto from Sunshine Elementary, while those for poetry were Zachariah Jones from Orangewood Elementary, Devin Benham from Gateway Elementary and Molly Heyner from Gateway Elementary.
Those in grades three to five followed the theme of “Brave Loved Ones.” Winners for art included David Middleton from Trafalgar Elementary, Antonio Chickino from Patriot Elementary and Michael Biltz from J. Colin English, and for poetry the winners were Hannah Hennessy from Gulf Elementary, Benjamin Mikell from Gulf Elementary and Danielle Plecki from Three Oaks Middle.
Middle school winners, or those in sixth to eighth grade, used the theme of “Conquering Heroes” and winners for art included Taylor Ditmer from Trafalgar Middle, Jenny Rinella from Caloosa Middle and John Montero from Lexington Middle. For poetry the winners were Cassidy Tinkoff from Three Oaks Middle, Thomas Frank from Lehigh Acres Middle and Omar Cardona from Three Oaks Middle.
Grades nine to 10 used the theme “Esprit De Corps,” and winners included Bailee Ames from Island Coast High, Haley Carlson from North Fort Myers High and Kali Fabbro from Estero High. For poetry the winners were Hinalei Quinones from Fort Myers High, Janhavi Shirhatti from Fort Myers High and Brennan Waldorf from Fort Myers High.
The juniors or seniors around the county worked under “Courage, Pride, Duty and Honor.” Winners for art were Meagan Conway from Island Coast High, Rita Tammacco from North Fort Myers High and Jamie Paul from Cypress Lake High. For poetry the winners were Roselyn Batista from Fort Myers High, Dan Sinex from Fort Myers High and Jeffrey Sarver from Fort Myers High.