School community pitches inThe first day of fall should be Sept. 20, not the 22nd. You can tell our incredible summer is about to depart. Back-to-school is settling in, and the days are getting shorter. The leaves are starting to change color in some areas, frost warnings away from the lake are becoming more frequent, the air we breathe has an autumn-like quality.
By: By Don Leighton, Superior Telegram
The first day of fall should be Sept. 20, not the 22nd. You can tell our incredible summer is about to depart. Back-to-school is settling in, and the days are getting shorter. The leaves are starting to change color in some areas, frost warnings away from the lake are becoming more frequent, the air we breathe has an autumn-like quality.
And Bill Punyko is going to jump, or “fall” out of a plane next Thursday at the SHS freshman football game.
Nobody has ever questioned the sanity of Mr. Punyko, assistant principal at Superior High School, because what question would you ask? He is such a strong supporter of the students and everything involved in SHS. A parachute jump should be of no surprise. With his act of bravery, he is looking to help his kids again.
The Golden Knights U.S. Army precision parachute team will be performing at the Duluth Air Show Sept. 21-23. The team has agreed to help welcome “fall” with a soft landing. Spectators at the 5 p.m. game get to see the best trained parachute team in the world push Punyko out of their plane, and in tandem, help him drop safely onto Ole Haugsrud Field. The jump happens before the game.
Punyko is aware that 50 percent of children in the district are unsure where their next meal comes from; he is risking life, limb and embarrassment to raise money for Hunger Takes No Holiday and Second Harvest Food Bank.
For $1, spectators can purchase a paper plate to place on the football field. The owner of the plate that “Daredevil” Bill lands on will win a $100 gift card from Target. Let’s cover the field with plates. You can purchase as many as you would like.
For each dollar donated, Second Harvest can buy $10 worth of food to provide five meals for our kids. The support of the community, high school and Punyko earns high praise from the Lance and Billy Parachuting Academy.
The fearless flyer says this of his free-fall for food: “This event allows an opportunity to have the kids support the community through the Second Harvest Food Bank. There’s a lot of excitement to see a world class precision parachute team perform for the high school and the fact that an assistant principal gets to be the one pushed out of a plane is just icing on the cake.”
From Shaye Moris, Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank’s executive director and alum of Superior schools: “The generosity of the Superior, Douglas County community never ceases to amaze us. We’re distributing more food to Superior/Douglas County than ever before and it has only been possible thanks to residents of this community. Happy landings, Bill.”
Be at Ole Haugsrud Field at 5 p.m. Thursday for skydiving, a chance to win a $100 gift care from Target, a great freshman football game, and a chance to help Bill Punyko make a “big impression” in the lives of so many.
Speaking of big impressions, SHS seniors and DECA classmates Nicole Mattson, Courtney Oak, Savannah Oak, and Brianna Homich are pretty impressive, themselves. They organized the tailgate party held prior to last Friday’s football game with River Falls. Countless hours of preparation resulted in over $1,150 being raised and donated to Hunger Takes No Holiday. What an honor it is to have these great students and community members kick off year four of our campaign. Shaye Moris and Second Harvest Food Bank will receive this money, which equals $11,500 worth of food and will provide 5,750 meals to kids in Superior.
When asked why they chose Hunger Takes no Holiday as the recipient of their hard work, the responses tell a lot.
Savannah Oak responded, “We picked Hunger Takes no Holiday and Second Harvest for many beneficial reasons. First, it helps local families that need help. Second, Hunger Takes no Holiday helps spread awareness that Christmas and Thanksgiving are not the only times of the year that families need food. It is a year round problem. Third, 50 percent of the kids in our school district are on free or reduced breakfast and lunch. We had a great time raising money for a cause from which we knew our community would benefit.”
Courtney Oak has similar sentiments but includes, “Choosing this charity to give our donated money to not only benefits the hungry people in our community but also the kids who go to our own school. We were very happy to help out as much as we could and hope that our donations make an impact in people’s lives.”
Brianna Homich echoes Savannah and Courtney but continues, “It was brought to our attention how many kids just at our school alone need free or reduced lunch and it’s heart-breaking so it increased our awareness of the issue and made us want to make a difference in something so important. Overall, it was definitely a success and it feels good.”
Nicole Mattson’s take on this event is: “Mr. Zollver has been the teacher and adviser of DECA since 1983. He helps us plan and organize the tailgate event using past experience but enables us to lead the project as well. This experience is fulfilling in multiple ways — the leadership opportunity, teamwork in planning and helping out our community battle hunger. The final total raised was $1250.33. The tailgate party was a great success in my opinion.”
What are other feelings towards Zollver and DECA?
Brianna Homich feels, “DECA is definitely a worthwhile class. It helps us reach out to things we wouldn’t normally and it also prepares us for the business world at a young age, which will be so helpful. It just wouldn’t be DECA without Zollver. He’s a one-of-a-kind man and a big help to us in guiding and keeping us on the right track.”
The excitement of DECA seems contagious. Courtney Oak thought of the class as something to take because everyone else was.
Now she says, “Competing in DECA is one of the best choices I have made in High school and I enjoy it a lot. Mr. Zollver really knows what he is talking about and can relate to our ideas all of the time. Being in DECA helps me get more involved with the school in events such as, tailgate, homecoming, and Q-Fest. I really like DECA and can’t wait to see what else it brings me this year.”
What an impressive group of young ladies who are about as well-grounded as they can be. They see the big picture and jump right in to get involved and to help others in their school and community. I know Mr. Zollver is proud of them, and they are excited to have him for a teacher and mentor.
Keep it up Mr. Z., Courtney, Savannah, Brianna, and Nicole. Because of you, a difference has been made.
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