Fitch students honor veterans with dinner

« Austintown Neighbors


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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Students at Austintown Fitch organized a spaghetti dinner on Dec. 5 for veterans who fought in Vietnam. The students created the dinner as a part of their Senior Service Project that all seniors do at the school.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Students Michael Ferree, Nate Armstrong, Catlin Correia, Dylan Correia, Katilyn Carson, Breylon Douglas and Jakari Lumsden organized the event with the help of the school. Pictured are the veterans and the group of seniors who organized the event.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.Austintown Fitch choir sang "Thank You Soldiers" and "God Bless the U.S.A." during the dinner. They walked to the veterans to thank them for their service during the event. Pictured, veteran Leo Connelly, Jr. shakes hands with choir student Dylan Blott.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.The group of senior students also gave the veterans a certificate, bumper stinker and lapel pin while honoring them individually. Pictured, from left, are brothers Leo and John Connelly at the spaghetti dinner.

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Neighbors | Zack Shively.The veterans all thanked the students for the dinner. Fitch does a number of events to honor veterans throughout the year. Pictured are, from left, Roger Humberson and Gene McCalpin.

By ZACK SHIVELY

zshively@vindy.com

Austintown Fitch High School invited veterans who fought in the Vietnam War to the school for a spaghetti dinner on Dec. 5.

Michael Ferree led the project as a part of his senior service project that all students must do during their senior year at Fitch. He and his group worked with the school to contact the veterans for the dinner.

Ferree said that he chose this event for his senior project because he “wanted to give back to the community and veterans.“ He said that helping the veterans is important to him and the school.

He organized the event with his follow students Nate Armstrong, Catlin Correia, Dylan Correia, Katilyn Carson, Breylon Douglas and Jakari Lumsden. They helped serve the dinner and honor the veterans. The students received a grant from Greg Greenwood, which they used to buy food for the dinner from Rachel’s Restaurant.

The veterans loved the dinner and thanked the students for putting it on for them. Many of the veterans complimented the students on their kind and respectful act.

Leo Connelly Jr., the commissioner of the Veterans Service Commission, works throughout the state on a number veterans related missions, such as giving testimonial to name a bridge on Meridian in honor of female veterans and helping another veteran receive a Medal of Honor. Connelly said that Austintown Fitch is phenomenal, “from the lobby when you come in to the treatment we received tonight ... no school in the valley treats veterans as well.“

The show choir, directed by Bill Klein, performed at the event. They sang “Thank You Soldiers“ and “God Bless the U.S.A.“ and shook the hands of the veterans during their performance.

The choir has focused on performing for veterans since 1972. Their motto is “serving those that have served.“ The choir followed that motto this year by performing at every event the school had to honor the veterans. They also perform at a veterans hospital every year.

Farree and his team honored each veteran individually at the event by saying their name, thanking them for their service and giving them a small package that included a certificate, bumper sticker and lapel pin inside.

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