The Bear Facts - December 20, 2008

(Jingle bells ring at start.)

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas! I'm Jake Rosenmeyer!

And I'm Anna Kollasch! Welcome to a special edition of the "Bear Facts", where it's Christmas vacation here at Bishop Garrigan High School.

At Garrigan we try to keep service in mind and think of other people all year long, but the holidays offer a lot of special opportunities to help those in need. Many groups have been helping out this Christmas. Garrigan's Christian Leadership in Action group collected for Toys for Tots and also had a big box to collect coats for the CARE Team. Student Council also helped the CARE Team, adopting two area families and providing Christmas gifts for them. Publications students wrapped up gifts for residents at area nursing home residents, and the faculty took up a collection to provide special supplies for people from the area who are serving in the military overseas.

We always have a number of special events during the holiday season. In addition to the madrigal dinner and band concert last week, we also had a number of special religious services. The Christian Leadership group presented its annual holiday traditions service, where they explained the origins of various things we take for granted at Christmas. We also had a service of reconciliation at St. Cecelia's, and we had a joint Christmas liturgy together with the students at Seton.

Last week Garrigan seniors Tyler Rowley and Kory Wieland got an early Christmas present. They learned they'll be receiving an award from the U.S. Department of the Treasury for scoring near the top among 75,000 students nationwide on a test of financial literacy. Congratulations to Tyler and Kory, and to business teacher Annette Vaske.

Christmas is almost here, and we have a long tradition on "The Bear Facts" of giving a holiday survey to the students here at Garrigan. The first question we asked this year was "What is the coolest Christmas gift you ever got?" Emily Bell said it was a fish, while Mike Mergen really liked getting ninja stars. David Reding remembers getting excited about a Tonka truck with men and cones, and Chad Thompson says he got an X-Box 360 and never stopped playing it. Amy Rasmussen loved her I-Pod, while Becca Hyslop's coolest gift was a cat. Kelsie Berke got a Jack-in-the-Box, Alex Dodds got a shotgun, and Kevin Elbert got an electric scooter. Then there was Austin Wolf, who said his coolest gift was the present he's getting from Santa this year-no fair peeking, Austin!

Our second question was "What was your strangest holiday experience?" Brad Richter said it was being sick at Christmas, for Mandy Kohlhaas it was the family dog that was sick while they were opening presents, and Christopher Schmidt said that pretty much his whole family was sick one Christmas. Kelly Rouse recalled her brother turning into Santa Claus, Jesie Rosenmeyer remembered when she and her godmother got pulled over by the police at Christmas, and Jimmy Geelan couldn't forget hitting a rope with his snowmobile. Alex Hamilton crossed out what he wrote, so you'll have to guess what that was. Then there's "Bear Facts" announcer Anna Kollasch, who said "no comment-my family isn't strange!"

There are sixteen days of Christmas vacation this year, and we asked people what their plans were over that time. Joe Straub said he was headed to sunny Cancun, while math teacher David Burrow is headed to "sunny" Canada. Travis Stone is looking forward to eating out at Grandma's, while Daniel Gelhaus will be making a snow house. Holly Byrkeland plans to travel to South Dakota, and Katie Molacek will be hanging with the family. Kelsie Berke wants to make snow angels, while exchange student Henrique Noguiera is looking forward to ice fishing. Shelby Schindler can't wait to enjoy some awesome food, and then there's David Miller who says he'll just be "staying out of trouble" over the holidays.

Our final question was "What do you want for Christmas?" Meghan Mayer says she wants peace and love all over the world-and we all hope she gets her wish. Chris Kellner is hoping to get some hunting gear, and Dana Miller is asking Santa for a new TV. Matt Elbert says he wants a snowblower, and Mike Mergen wants more of those ninja stars he thought were so cool before. Kenzie Schindler would like a Barbie dream house, Kevin Laubenthal wants a Kawasaki Mule, and Tayler Cink hopes she gets footy pajamas and a new snow suit. Steph Kajewski wants a digital camera, while Logan Smith's wish is a four-wheeler. Money was the most popular gift, requested by nearly half the students responding. At the top of the list was Brian Funk, who said what he wanted for Christmas was a million dollars-good luck with that, Brian!

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Casey Crail and Michelle McGuire. Here to tell you about them is Michael Hellman.

Casey Crail will be graduating at the end of the first semester. Over the years her biggest activity has probably been choir, and she appeared in the musical Bye, Bye Birdie last year. Casey also has a lot of talent in art. Last week at the art show, she had lots of her creations exhibited, and art teacher Steve Brosnan praised her work in many different media. We wish Casey the best of luck in the future.

Michelle McGuire has been active in speech and drama all through high school. She was successful in storytelling for speech, and you might have seen her in last year's musical production. Michelle has also been in choir, where she competed at solo and ensemble contest. She will also be graduating early, and we wish Michelle all the best after high school.

Thanks, Michael! Our Golden Bear calendar is pretty empty due to Christmas vacation. While we'll be enjoying our time off, there's nothing happening at school until after New Year's. The first event is Saturday, January 3rd, when Garrigan will host the cross-town basketball game against Algona High.

School starts up again Monday, January 5th. That night the freshman basketball teams host Humboldt. Then Tuesday the 6th the JV and varsity teams travel to Ft. Dodge St. Edmond.

Semester tests will be Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, January 7th, 8th, and 9th. We'll have a special schedule with open campus when we don't have tests going on. Wednesday noon the junior class will enjoy the Godfather's buffet as their reward for finishing first in the magazine drive.

The first semester ends on Friday, January 9th. That night the varsity Bears travel to Hampton-Dumont. Saturday the 10th the quiz bowl team competes in the Humanities Challenge in Garner, the math team travels to Iowa Falls, and there's an honor band in Fort Dodge.

That wraps up "The Bear Facts" for 2008. We'll be off for the next two weeks because of Christmas vacation, and we hope all of you have a very Merry Christmas and an outstanding New Year! Be sure to catch us again Saturday, January 10, 2009, when we'll be back with more Garrigan news. Until then ...

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

(Jingle bells ring)

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