Eventful journey to Houston worth the effort [North Laurel/Savage]

Howard County Times

Reservoir High School teacher Dave Boteler started off his school year with an important undertaking. After hearing about the devastation of Hurricane Harvey near Houston, he coordinated a massive local effort to collect and deliver necessary household supplies and personal items to the victims in Texas. I was able to speak with Boteler about his volunteer effort and his trip. He told me that while he is pleased with the enormous effort put forth by so many people, it was certainly not easy. Two full trucks made the trip; one driven by Boteler, who was accompanied by his sister and the other driven by Reservoir High School physical education teacher, Jason Conley, along with a friend, Ed Carpenetti. On the trip to Texas, tires blew out of Boteler’s U-Haul truck three separate times, in Bristol, Virginia, in Shreveport, Louisiana and in Birmingham, Alabama. Conley and Carpenetti continued onto their destination at Delmar Field House in the Houston Independent School District. Boteler and his sister finally made it to the Impact Church of Christ in the first ward of Houston. A former Reservoir student, Wendy Usher, currently interning at Small Steps, a nurturing center within the church, reached out to Boteler to see if his efforts could help the area where she works. The communities who benefitted from Boteler’s dedicated efforts will be forever grateful. Now his endeavors continue as his after-school club, the Difference Makers, prepares to meet and make plans for helping locally. Boteler will encourage members of the club to find ways to make a difference in our neighborhoods. I am excited to report on their work around town.

Early mornings, packed lunches, Back-to-School Nights, fall sports, music lessons and the list goes on. School is back in session and by now just about all of the local schools have held open houses and parent-information sessions. All schools appreciate donations of tissues, hand sanitizer, dry erase markers and the like so please consider dropping something off in the main office at your local school. Reservoir High School is also accepting other supplies and equipment. The art department is always taking donations of paper and art materials. Contact Angelina Prestel at angelina_prestel@hcpss.org if you have something you think they could use. The photography department is always looking for photography equipment and materials. It accepts old digital cameras, old film cameras, photo supplies, dark room materials and film. Send an email to william_borja@hcpss.org about your potential photography donations.

Traditional yearly events are also scheduled at local schools. The Fulton Elementary PTA is planning the Fall Festival for Friday, Oct. 6 from 6 to 8 p.m. Pumpkin painting, a climbing wall and inflatable activities are always a part of the fun. Another Fall Festival is planned at Hammond Elementary on the same evening. This year the Hammond PTA is adding silent auction items and a magic show to the other amusements. The PTA is in need of volunteers prior to the festival. A coordinator for the games is needed to organize the materials, make any necessary repairs and order supplies. Silent auction items have been procured but a coordinator would be helpful to organize and prepare the items and accompanying paperwork. Contact the event organizers, Erin Roberts or Stephanie Jones, at hammond@hespta.org if you can help make the festival a success. Online ticket sales have begun so go to http://www.hespta.org to order yours.

On Saturday, Oct. 7, the cafeteria at Atholton High School will be the place to be for the oldest tradition at the school, the Homecoming Breakfast. This enjoyable event, held from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., marks the beginning of a fun-filled day of homecoming activities and everyone in the community is welcome to attend. Debbie Merwitz can be contacted at dmerwitz@gmail.com if you have questions, want to volunteer or wish to purchase tickets. Other events of the day include the parade at 11 a.m., the Powder Puff game at 12:30 p.m. and the football game against Glenelg at 2 p.m. The day will top off with the dance at 7:30 p.m.

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