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Do The Right Thing monthly winners announced

By Staff | Sep 17, 2009

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

Overall winner
— Rachael Martinez, eighth grade, Gulf Middle, daughter of Kelli and John Doniphan
Rachael reaches out to the senior citizens of Gulf Coast Village on the first Saturday of every month. She and her dog, Chewy, are almost always the first in and the last out on the monthly PAWS, or Pets Are Working Saints, visits. During one visit, she informed her mother that she wanted to go to the Alzheimer’s unit alone to visit and cheer up the residents. As usual, she was the last member of PAWS to exit the building. Her eyes were teary as she told her class that she had held six pairs of hands as she visited the residents and she cried six times. Besides going to other wings of the facility, Rachael continues to visit that unit regularly and has “adopted” a resident, Jack, making a special visit on his birthday. Rachael is currently looking into taking Chewy on visits to a youth home where there are young people who are temporarily separated from their families. She shows a deep concern for the children and hopes to help them forget their situations, if even for a while.

— Bryan Wolf, ninth grade, Mariner High, son of Mary and Arthur Wolf
Toward the end of the last school year, Bryan’s mom lost consciousness, collapsing on the kitchen floor. He was the only one home with her at the time and took matters into his own hands by calling 911 to instruct the paramedics of the emergency. Bryan then called his dad to let him know what was happening and where his mom was being taken. He is a Life Scout with St. Andrew Catholic Church Troop 8463 and is currently serving as a patrol leader, so his heroic efforts are not surprising.

— Nicole Henson, eighth grade, Caloosa Middle, daughter of Sarah Zeske
Sarah was nominated by staff of the Wm. “Bill” Austen Youth Center. In June, Nicole began volunteering for the center’s summer camp, and throughout the summer Nicole has gone above and beyond, showing exemplary leadership skills, tremendous acts of responsibility and a genuine kindness while exceeding the expectations of a volunteer. Nicole’s volunteer duties are simple: aid the counselors when needed. Nicole did much more than that, though, taking on a proactive attitude and soon became one of the most reliable volunteers. She also took the few special needs children under her wing, and not only became their role model but also their friend. She was very helpful and completed any task without hesitation and was the first to help a camper in need of guidance.

— Andrew Conforte, first grade, Trafalgar Elementary, son of Scott and Jill Conforte
Andrew has always had a love for animals, but during the past year he has developed a special interest in learning about endangered species and what is being done to protect them. This past summer, 7-year-old Andrew wrote a letter to President Barack Obama with some ideas and suggestions regarding protecting the habitat of animals, and then set up a lemonade stand, the proceeds of which were donated to the World Wildlife Fund.

— Christian Corrales, ninth grade, Island Coast High, son of Marlen and Marcelino Corrales
— Jorge Peralta, 11th grade, Island Coast High, son of Fortunato and Elena Peralta
— Carlos Peralta, eighth grade, Mariner Middle, son of Fortunato and Elena Peralta
— Alejandro Dominguez, 10th grade, Island Coast, son of Miosotif and Aromando Dominguez
Officers Romero and Rivera were called to a neighborhood in which the caller stated that four young men were inside an abandoned house. The neighborhood had been hit with recent burglaries, so the residents were more attuned to suspicious activity. When the officers arrived, four young men, Alejandro, Christian, Carlos and Jorge were outside the residence and at first denied that they were inside the house but then admitted to the officers that they were inside because they were bored. The officers told them that they were not to go inside the house again, but if they were bored they should mow the lawn of the abandoned house to improve the quality of their neighborhood. The boys told the officers that they would mow the overgrown lawn every Monday until school started. Romero and Rivera thanked the boys but doubted that it would ever happen until they did a follow-up check of the neighborhood later in the day and found that the boys had borrowed a lawn mower and weed eater from members of their church and were in the process of making good on their commitment. Numerous checks afterward by the officers proved that they had indeed taken care of the lawn on a regular basis.
— Mia DeFilippi, second grade, Trafalgar Elementary, daughter of Patty and Dominick DeFilippi
— Jodi DeFilippi, fifth grade, Trafalgar Elementary, daughter of Patty and Dominick DeFilippi
— Amy Pierce, North Fort Myers High, daughter of Tom and Debbie Pierce
— Mia Hackworth, second grade, St. Michaels, daughter of Jackie and Dennis Hackworth
— Allison Gallagher, Fort Myers High, daughter of Laura Gallagher
— Mackenzie Roost, Cypress Lake Middle, daughter of Mike and Tiffany Roost
The Paradise Allstar Cheerleaders have been about more than cheering this summer. They discussed several options in which they could help children in life-altering situations and finally chose to take their efforts to the Ronald McDonald House in Fort Myers which serves as a place for families to stay while their children undergo cancer treatments. The six cheerleaders chose to help with the family meal plan where they helped to shop for groceries, purchased the food, prepared and served the meals, and cleaned up afterward. When there were children staying in the house as well, they helped to entertain them. The girls did this on a couple different occasions and helped to relieve the stress of strangers while learning a little about the treatment their children were going through.