The Bear Facts

February 26, 2005

Good morning! I'm Rachel Byrkeland!

And I'm Amanda Golwitzer! You're listening to the "Bear Facts", the weekly radio show where we bring you all the news from Bishop Garrigan High School.

Before long, you'll be able to support the school just by doing your ordinary weekly shopping-without having to buy things you don't want to buy. In the near future you can use "Bear bucks" scrip to make your purchases. "Scrip" means substitute money. The "Bear bucks" are certificates that you can use just like cash at dozens of businesses around the area. You can also get certificates and gift cards that work at hundreds of nationwide chains. When you do your shopping with scrip, the merchants pay a dividend to the school, which will use the money for tuition assistance.

Parents or grandparents can designate that the money earned through their scrip purchases go toward tuition for their children or grandchildren. Anyone can help out, though. If you don't have family members at Garrigan or Seton, your scrip purchases will go to help out people who would otherwise have trouble paying tuition. It doesn't cost you anything to use scrip instead of money, and every dollar you spend pays between two and twenty-five cents worth of tuition for our students. The development office will be holding meetings to help people learn about scrip over the next few weeks. You can also learn more by going to the school website at

Last Wednesday we had a special assembly at Garrigan. We all went to the gym and listened to a presentation by Eric Wieland, a local man who is a commander of a National Guard division in Afghanistan. Commander Wieland told us that while the main fighting is over in Afghanistan, it can still be a dangerous place. He wears body armor whenever he leaves the base, and one of the sixty men in his unit was killed last year.

Most of the National Guard's work involves helping to re-build and modernize Afghanistan. They've built a number of schools, and they help get supplies to the desperately poor local people. They also supervised the first free elections in history last year, and they work with the Afghani police to maintain peace and order in a very troubled country. Commander Wieland was on leave, and he spoke to Garrigan the day before he returned to Afghanistan. We enjoyed his talk, and we wish him and his unit well as they continue their service.

Pops concert is just around the corner. The 2005 pops concert will be Thursday and Friday, March 10 and 11. Band director Dennis Freking and choir director Denis Greenfield have been working hard preparing solo, small-group, and large-group pieces. This year's pops concert theme is "Going to the Movies", and a lot of the numbers will be from Hollywood favorites. Be sure to mark your calendar for March 10 or 11 for pops concert.

A little over a week ago the Garrigan quiz bowl team participated in the Trivia Champions Think-a-Thon. This event is designed to raise money for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Participants work in teams to answer 300 tough questions. This year the top team included national quiz bowl qualifiers Matt Courtney, Jacob Richter, and Anthony McGuire. They answered 212 questions correctly. Spencer Rahm, Jeff Lappe, Josh Rahm, Joe Rahm, Seth Rogers, and Jude Studer got 203 right; while Andrew Missal, Alison Brandenburg, Jacob Hellman, and Amanda Golwitzer had a score of 197. Quiz bowl sponsor David Burrow answered 232 questions correctly. All together the team raised $463.50 for charity, which is more than $100 more than last year. Thanks to everyone who helped out!

The biggest upcoming event at Garrigan is danz squad nationals. Next Thursday the thirteen members of the Golden Bear danz squad will be flying from Minneapolis to Orlando. After visiting Walt Disney World, they'll compete at nationals at the University of Central Florida. They have two performances, Saturday at 1pm and 6pm. Awards will be next Sunday, and the team flies home Monday, March 7. Good luck at nationals, danz squad!

Our Senior Spotlight this week shines on Renee Taphorn and Yani Vasileva. Here to tell you about them is Tami Lallier.

Renee Taphorn lives just east of Algona. Her many activities include band, choir, jazz band, speech, and quiz bowl; and in the past she was also a member of the track team. On weekends you might see Renee working at the Holmes Veterinary Clinic. She'll be starting her work to be a veterinarian at Kirkwood Community College next year, and we wish her all the best.

Yani Vasileva is a native of Bulgaria who left a big city in Eastern Europe to come to Iowa. She lived in Wesley for most of the fall semester, but now she lives in Algona. She enjoys spending time with our other exchange student, June Lee. Yani tried out for cross-country and volleyball, and she spends much of her time at school in the computer lab. She'll be returning home at the end of the school year, and we hope she has good memories of her time at Garrigan.

Thanks, Tami! There's nothing on our Golden Bear calendar today. Tomorrow we've got the last regular season intramural games, and Monday will be kindergarten round-up at Seton.

The calendar is clear until next Thursday, when the danz squad leaves for sunny Florida. They'll be performing at nationals on Saturday. Also next Saturday Garrigan will host the district individual speech contest, and the math team will compete at NIACC in Mason City.

That's the "Bear Facts" for February. Thanks for listening, and be sure to catch our show again next week, when we'll bring you more news from Bishop Garrigan High School.


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