East’s Busy November to Remember

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Image: Armita Rohani

By Anirhutha Kumar, Michelle Huang, Darshini Dayanidhi

From fundraisers to clubs, there’s a lot going on at East as the holiday season starts to roll around! Here’s a glance over everything to keep tabs on.

Thanksgiving Food Drive

The Thanksgiving Food Drive at East High School is making a significant impact on the Turkey Basket project of Western New York, aiming to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for 400 local families in Amherst and Western New York. This compassionate initiative reaches out to various organizations and communities, extending its help in providing families a Thanksgiving dinner in our community.

The families benefiting from this encompass a diverse range of groups including the the Amherst Senior Centre, Hispanics United of Buffalo, Citizen Community Development Corp., Women’s Respite Program, Vive La Casa, Amherst Families, Cornerstone Manor, City Mission, St. Lawrence Food Pantry, Community Action Organization, and Priscilla Project/Jericho Community Center.

To make these families’ Thanksgiving special, the organizers have outlined specific items needed for donation: canned vegetables and fruit, boxed stuffing and potatoes, cranberries, and boxed brownie mix

East High School has also turned this drive into a friendly class competition. Students are encouraged to bring the items  and place them in the corresponding grade level bins located in front of the main office. Aside from contributing to a good cause, students are also earning money for their grade level to spend on events.

The donation amounts  highlight the enthusiasm and generosity of our students so far: Freshmen have contributed 125 items,  Sophomores 160, Juniors 150,  Seniors 114, and faculty/staff 32, adding up to an impressive total of 581. Moreover, the music department is also doing a fundraiser for the frozen turkeys; if you are a music student or just anyone who can spare five bucks, contact Samuel Walsh,  Armito Rohani, Evania Ernest, or Mrs. Ieda in the music hallway.

If you can, contribute to the ongoing drive, and help give a memorable Thanksgiving dinner to a family!

Williamsville East Becker Farms Pies, Fudge & More Holiday Fundraiser

The holiday season is upon us and what better way to sweeten up the festivities than by supporting a good cause? The East Post Prom invites all family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to spread the word and join in the joy of giving through the Becker Farms Pies, Fudge & More Holiday Fundraiser. This fundraising opportunity offers two different delivery options to accommodate your holiday schedule. Thanksgiving pickup will take place on Monday, Nov. 20. All  online/paper orders must be received by Tuesday, November 14th. Christmas pickup will take place on Monday, December 18 and all orders must be received by Monday, December 11th. For information on how to order, check your WITMail. If you order some sweet treats, you can pick them up in the Williamsville East Commons from  2:30- 6:30 P.M on your specified date. However, this fundraiser isn’t just all about the sweetness and meriness of the holidays; this is an initiative to support 24′ Post Prom. Every order of fudge, pie, drinks, kettle corn, and apples received contributes to creating memories for the graduating class. For the low price range of $10 – $25, it’s a great deal too!

If you have any further questions or concerns, reach out to Karin Willick at (716)239-8213 or Paige our Becker Farms  Representative at  (813) 368-902.

Let’s make this Post Prom extra special for our graduating class!

FBLA

FBLA is a popular club that benefits the students of East in many ways, including the many opportunities it provides and services such as the Commons Cafe. Although it is too late to join the club this year, please put some thought into joining it next year and support their activities!

FBLA is an acronym for Future Business Leaders of America. It’s not just a school club; it’s a national organization that helps over 200,000 students each year in business-related careers. There are many opportunities like the chance to travel, win money, scholarships, and more.  The advisor for the East chapter is Mrs. Fanara-Mauro, who is described as “really nice  and  laid back” by Jeebahy Prabaharan, a sophomore who joined FBLA last year. 

One major component of FBLA is participating in SLC, the acronym for States Level Competition, which is said to have elements of testing and projects. “SLC  is this huge event at FBLA, where there’s different categories. There [are categories like] medical, finance, and others that you can join.” Jeebahy explains. Students in each category prepare to compete against other schools’ chapters at the SLC.

But, if you’re not interested in SLC, there’s another major club activity that is uniquely East–volunteering to work in the popular  ‘Common’s (Core) Cafe’. When asked about what the most popular part of the club may be, Mrs. Fanara-Mauro responded, “I’m sure if you were to ask some of the students at East, members and non members, they may say their favorite part of FBLA is Commons Cafe, an FBLA founded, student-run coffee house, especially on waffle days.” Students also get a volunteer opportunity by helping out during free periods. “I  helped pass out food, I helped pour the coffee, start the coffee, and more,” says Jeebahy on her experience working.

If this club seems too overwhelming, don’t worry- it’s not a huge time commitment. “I appreciate it’s mostly a self-study club,” says another sophomore who joined last year. “You get to walk around… working with friends on studying and stuff like that.”

But, be warned, applications also come with a fee of $25, and late applications past October 6th are NOT accepted. But considering all the possibilities and opportunities in FBLA, it’d be a good investment for next year.

Art Club

If you’re seeking a creative haven and a good time after school, look no further than the Art Club! Guided by the wonderful Mrs. Creahan, the sessions, held once every week from 3:00 to 4:00 (contact advisor for details on meeting dates), offer a delightful blend of artistry and fun. 

Art Club is open to everyone regardless of your artistic background or whether you’re enrolled in an art class. Mrs. Creahan makes sure all needed materials are readily available for the creative students. Students bring in their own ideas, often found on the internet, or Mrs. Creahan always has a fun project for everyone to do.

The creative playground includes pottery wheels, paints, hot glue guns, and even a dark room. Beyond the brushes, Art Club often contributes to meaningful projects like painting the windows at Wendy’s, creating school murals, making ornaments, helping make the rain barrel, and organizing fundraisers.

Currently, Art Club is making fun festive ornaments to take home and put on their  trees. As usual, Mrs. Creahan has all the materials available. They include but are not limited to: ornament cases, festive ribbon, Christmas stickers, mini clay statues, hot glue guns, fake snow, and more. It’s an enjoyable way to get into the holiday spirit. While the students work, Mrs. Creahan has a Christmas playlist going on in the background.

But, Art Club is more than just art; it’s about making new connections. According to students, it’s a great opportunity to make new friends while making art. One student said “It’s a fun DIYparty every meeting! If you really enjoy art but don’t usually have the materials or time to, come to Art Club!”

Whether you’re a budding picasso or are simply looking for fun, give some thought to joining Art Club!!

Girl Up

Girl Up, a UN sponsored club, is making a significant contribution to the community under their enthusiastic advisor Ms. Fey-Daly. The club, which meets monthly, is committed to promoting the health, education, and safety of girls internationally. However, Girl Up is currently working to support women in our very own community.

Last year,  Girl Up organized diverse events such as expert panels in sports, politics, and technology. Professionals shared their experiences with the students, sharing much valuable knowledge and experience.

Recently,  last month, the club successfully organized two breast cancer fundraisers. Half the proceeds from Taste of East, along with funds raised from the Student St. fundraisers–totaling to three hundred dollars–were donated to the Roswell Park Cancer institute to support research and treatment of breast cancer.

Coming up, the club has planned a card donation drive post Thanksgiving break. Those interested can create holiday cards for the Courage of Carly Fund at Roswell Park to show their support for young cancer patients.  A self- defense seminar could also be in the books.

As Girl Up continues to thrive under Ms. Fey-Daly’s guidance, its members remain steadfast in their goal to bring change to the community for girls. So if you are interested in supporting girls’ health education, and safety, put some thought into joining Girl Up.

Unity in Diversity

Unity in Diversity is a fun and diverse club where students have the opportunity to dance, perform on stage, and learn about different countries. The club advisors are Mr. Huber and Ms. Korn, and the president is Pen Fang.

Unity in Diversity is a highly anticipated club where students of many different cultures come together to learn and teach dances, music, and more from different countries. Angelina Tang, Vice President of Unity, expressed that, “Unity is a highlight of East that many of our members have been looking forward to performing in since middle school. We always strive to embody the unique East spirit of embracing diversity and freedom of expression.

”Every year, Unity in Diversity holds a performance in the auditorium where all the different cultural groups showcase dance, martial arts, music, and other visual arts. This year happens to be the thirtieth anniversary of the show and as Angelina  says, “we’re working hard to make this show even better than ever before.” The show will be a school assembly, but this year, preparation time for the show is cut short one month, as it is being held on February 14th, as opposed to the usual late-March showtime.

Unity in Diversity is not just about learning about other cultures, though. It can also help students connect with lost roots and help them explore their culture little by little. If you are still interested in joining, please contact Mr. Huber, Mrs. Korn, Pen Fang, or Angelina Tang for more details regarding open groups. There will be a hard no-new-members rule after November 30th, the first checkpoint of the club.

Mock Trial

The Mock Trial Club, guided by Mr. Powalowski, offers students a unique experience in the legal field. They are provided with an opportunity to simulate real court cases in a competitive setting. “The better you do, the further you go – maybe even to the State competition in Albany, New York,” says Mr. Powalowski. Over the years, the Mock Trial team at our school has consistently performed well, often reaching the finals.

The club’s season commences in late October to early November. It begins with tryouts and team formation, followed by the learning of courtroom procedures. Initially, they meet once a week, but as they approach January, their meetings increase to 2-3 times a week. Competitions occur on Saturdays in February.

The major events in the club’s calendar are the trials, in which each team argues from either the defense or the prosecution/plaintiff side. Success in these competitions can lead to playoffs, where winning is the key to advancement.

Participation in the Mock Trial Club equips students with essential skills, such as public speaking, teamwork, organizational abilities, and a sense of responsibility and commitment. They also gain a better understanding of legal terminology and classifications. This experience provides insights into the legal field and the workings of the judicial system. The club assists in helping students decide on whether they plan to pursue a career in law.

Basic requirements for participating in the club include being a registered student in East High and having dedication to the club and fellow members. “The most committed and proficient students earn their spots on the team,” Mr. Powalowski emphasizes.

For students contemplating joining the Mock Trial Club or considering a career in law or related fields, Mr. Powalowski suggests exploring their interests and passions. He emphasizes the importance of engaging in various activities but also recommends focusing on a few and becoming fully committed to them. This helps students discover their true interests and passions while fostering dedication and commitment.

Latin Club

Latin Club acts as an outlet for socializing with students, allowing them to participate in entertaining activities centered on collaboration and Latin culture. The Latin Honor Society is closely connected to the club, recognizing students who satisfy specified criteria while contributing to their academic success.

Meetings often begin with exercises designed to help participants connect. Activities vary from Halloween-themed activities to Christmas card-making, Saturnalia involvement, and scavenger hunts. The club, which meets once a month, presents a good mix of entertainment and social interaction with others. The Latin Honor Society is embedded in the club to stand as a mark of distinction, enhancing students’ portfolios and graduation achievements.

Ms. Brodnicki, the one and only advisor of the club, expresses, “Latin Club is about forging connections, having fun, and achieving something meaningful in the process.”

While insights into Latin culture are provided on a regular basis, the main objective remains to provide an entertaining experience for participants. Requirements for potential members are fairly straightforward, with an emphasis on active engagement, appropriate conduct, and kindness.

Latin Club additionally takes part in initiatives to raise money such as Taste of East, Jonny C, and sales of cookie dough and pies from Becker Farms. These endeavors, according to Ms. Brodnicki, assist in scholarships for senior Latin Club/Honor Society members and their academic pursuits. Latin Club offers a dynamic combination of fun activities and academic recognition.