Byram students raise thousands to benefit tsunami victims

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:46

    BYRAM-Ice cream and other snack money was given up by many of the students at the Byram Lakes Elementary School during January, when extra chores were performed at home to raise money for the Red Cross Tsunami Relief Fund. In the "Children Helping Children" program, Byram students gave up some time or extra snacks, so they could make a difference. A clear water jug in the cafeteria was filled higher as the month went on. The school has been focusing on the six pillars of character education — respect, responsibility, citizenship, kindness, caring, and trustworthiness. Students have demonstrated that they understand these messages by collecting $3,911.25. The results of these efforts were visualized during a presentation on tsunami survivors at a school assembly, where pictures of the child survivors were shown to students who sang songs including "We are the World," in which a few students were on stage singing for the hearing impaired. Two Red Cross representatives, Kristi Schutz and Barbara Vandenburgh, accepted a check from the children to go to the Tsunami Relief Fund, thanked the students for their efforts, and spoke to them about the Red Cross. BYRAM — Byram Intermediate School students raised more than $3,000 to benefit victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia at the annual games between the Byram girls and boys basketball teams against the teachers. The girls team, coached by Mrs. Muenzen's replacements, Charlie Best and Corey Gallagher, defeated the women's team, coached by Patti Trentanelli, 41-13, Feb. 4. The undefeated Byram boys team pulled out an overtime victory against the teachers, 54-53, Feb. 11, marking Dave Serafin's last TNT game. His jersey was retired during a heart-warming halftime ceremony and speech by James Sheehan, teacher and friend the past 35 years. The gym erupted in applause acknowledging their principal. After each game, the Golden Hearts Club ran a bake and craft sale and students from all grade levels created numerous crafts including macramé bracelets, key chains, lanyards, and god's eyes for the sale. Teachers, students, and parents also donated baked goods for the fund-raiser. The students, teachers, parents, and fans had a wonderful time and, although both of the students' teams won, the teachers vow to come back and challenge the students next year.