DECA Club puts together a Christmas party for two elementary schools

December 17, 2011|By RICHARD F. BELISLE |
  • 5 year old Jimmia Wanamaker, left, of Martinsburg gets a hug from her mother Shellett Duker as she unwraps one of her many Christmas presents from the Hedgesville High School DECA Club Saturday afternoon. Helping Jimmia is her 7-year-old brother Jazaire Wanamaker.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. — Hedgesville High School senior Anna Crawford could be well on her way to her dream if it's opening her own psychology practice.

Crawford, 17, was one of 25 students from Frank DiNicola's marketing class who organized, raised money for and put on a Christmas Party Saturday afternoon for students from two area elementary schools.

During the 31 years the event has been held, DiNicola's marketing class students have raised more than $100,000 to pay for the parties.

This year, the students, members of the high school's Distributive Education Club of America (they were all wearing navy blue DECA sweat shirts) raised more than $4,000 for the party, he said.

"I'm really good at marketing," Crawford said in explaining her fundraising prowess.

She said only a half-dozen businesses and individuals among the 40 she approached for donations turned her down.

Crawford said she plans to major in psychology and business at Marshall University.

Meagan Moriarty, another 17-year-old senior, coordinated this year's party, which included a full-course Christmas dinner topped with ham and turkey, and $400 shopping trips to buy Christmas presents for each of the 10 elementary school guests.

Principals at the two elementary schools — Opequon and Hedgesville — select the students for the party and give their Christmas wish lists to DiNicola for his students to fill.

One or two marketing students host an elementary student for dinner and gift-buying.

It's Moriarty's job to make sure it all comes together, from decorating the Hedgesville High School cafeteria, where the party is held, to making sure dinner is served to checking on the gift-shopping expeditions.

"Even though we have to do this for class, we don't feel like we do it because we have to," Moriarty said.

"The main thing is my students feel good about themselves because they're doing something to give back to their community," DiNicola said.

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