Educator teaches giving

December 14, 1998

Editors note: The Herald-Mail Co. is recognizing 12 different individuals or groups who make a difference to others during the holiday season

Frank DoNicola and DECABy BRYN MICKLE / Staff Writer, Martinsburg

photo: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - The holiday season holds a special lesson for students in the Hedgesville High School marketing club.

Frank DiNicola, the school's marketing education coordinator and DECA club advisor, has spent the past 20 years helping his students discover something that isn't found in too many textbooks - the gift of giving.

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"The greatest thing you can do is something for someone else," DiNicola said.

Continuing a tradition that began in 1978 as a club service project, the 35 juniors and seniors in the Hedgesville DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) club gathered in the high school cafeteria Dec. 6 to help ensure a happy holiday for 10 children from Tomahawk and Hedgesville elementary schools.


DiNicola said the DECA students raised $2,000 from the community to purchase cars, dolls and dinosaurs for the youngsters. The students also prepared and served a holiday turkey dinner to share with the children.

While the smiles on the faces of the elementary children illustrated their take on the afternoon, DiNicola said the experience is equally rewarding for the older students.

"This teaches these students how to give to others," DiNicola said. "You can see the satisfaction and gratitude they get from giving."

DECA club president Jason Rea, a Hedgesville 12th grader, said he remembered the holidays being hard for his parents when he was younger and welcomed the chance to give someone else a merry Christmas.

"My parents told me the best Christmas gift is giving," Rea said. "You see that with everybody in the club. They're happy and glad for the chance to help somebody out."

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