“This event could bring the community together like 9/11 brought the country together,” says Jocelyn Martinez, 17, senior in the public service practicum class at . “It helps to remember that this is not necessarily for mourning, but an appreciation of what the fire, police, and military do for us every day.”
Martinez spoke of the upcoming American Heroes Community Event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a special ceremony at noon Sunday, Sept. 11, at ’s stadium.
There will be family-friendly activities such as:
- “Touch a Truck” with the fire, police, and public works trucks on hand.
- Carnival games with patriotic themes.
- Face painting by the high school art club.
- Organizations like Life Source will give information on how regular Americans can help their communities.
- Performances by the Grayslake Knights marching band and choir.
- Other activities and refreshments.
Emily Weiss and Chris Kubic, teachers at , lead the public service practicum classes. This is Weiss’ first year teaching the class, since it is the first time in its five-year history that the school needed to offer a second section of the class. Kubic has taught the one section of the class for the past four years.
“These are yearlong classes that teach students communications skills and give them professional experience in citizenship and democracy. It helps give them experience in several career paths they may choose in the future,” said Weiss.
“I can’t imagine life without public service,” said Sam (Samantha) Lowy, PSP class member and media committee member. “Getting involved to help solve the problems of the world is the most important thing.”
“This has been a busy week for the PSP class,” said Weiss. “Monday
was a retreat/team building seminar, and we spent half a day assisting the PLAN Food Pantry.”
PLAN is an acronym for People Lending Assistance Network in Round Lake Beach, which gives free food, clothing, appliances, education and job assistance to individuals and families in Lake County. (Go to http://afreeplan.com for more info or call 847-302-9904.)
Weiss continued, “At the end of August, Cubmaster Michele Baumann and Scout mom Debbie Ganc approached GNHS to help host the event. The PSP kids were so excited to be involved and gave lots of great ideas of what to do for it.”
“I can’t believe the community outpouring of help and interest in just six short weeks!” said Baumann, whose Scout pack started the event with just a small idea that snowballed into something huge.
“The best way the community can help is to show up at the event to show support for those who risk their lives daily for the community — like military, fire, and police personnel. Also, we’re doing a food drive, so any donations of nonperishable food goods would be appreciated, too,” says PSP and media committee member Anthony Szulczynski, 17. He is considering going into the military himself next year.
“Community groups will be at the event to give more information on volunteering. We’re making a DVD of the event with messages of ‘thank you’ in it,” said Jocelyn Martinez.
Here is the video shown to PSP students to inspire their volunteerism: http://www.911memorial.org/spirit-volunteerism-video#ooid=Z0dndhOh5l5gq3DYrmhib6voluZnLMqZ.