The CAN DO Student Action Committee, a group of high school juniors and seniors from throughout Greater Hazleton who serve as non-voting members on the CAN DO Board of Directors, recently marked its 40th anniversary and held an initial meeting for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.
During the meeting, the group of eight seniors and eight juniors focused on learning their roles and responsibilities as Student Action Committee members, including attending CAN DO’s bi-monthly board of directors meetings. The group also began the planning process for its two signature events, “Operation: CAN DO” and CAN DO Community Christmas.
Beginning in September, Student Action Committee members will help collect items to create care packages that will be delivered to troops with ties to Greater Hazleton who are stationed abroad as part of the 13th annual “Operation: CAN DO” drive. The packages will be assembled in October and shipped in time for the holiday season in cooperation with American Legion Home Association Post 473 in Freeland. The students will be mailing letters seeking food, personal care, and entertainment items, as well as monetary donations, and setting up collection centers at their schools.
The 25th annual CAN DO Community Christmas will be held Wednesday, December 6 from 6-7:30 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church in Hazleton. Student Action Committee members are planning this year’s celebration around the general theme of Come Celebrate the Arts. The evening will feature performances from student musical acts such as jazz ensembles, chamber orchestras and chorus groups. T-shirts are currently being designed and committee members will coordinate refreshments, a Letters to Santa table and a visit from Santa Claus during the event.
This year’s Student Action Committee members are: Michael Kulish, Stephanie Mazurek and Francine Lamasko of Hazleton Area Academy of Sciences; Mark Abdelmalek, Alexandra Rentz, Angelina Joseph and Vincent Damiano of Hazleton Area High School; Christopher Danishefsky and Saraiha Rossi of Immanuel Christian School; Corrin Dagostin, Isabella Schwabe and Grace Mussoline of Marian High School; Jakob Schwabe and Morgan Long of MMI Preparatory School; and Jillian Bartel and Nikki Polivka of Weatherly Area High School.
Kulish and Rentz will serve as “Operation: CAN DO” co-chairs and Dagostin and Jakob Schwabe will co-chair CAN DO Community Christmas. Charles Burkhardt and Nancy Stasko are the Student Action Committee advisors.