If enthusiasm offers any measuring stick, the Class of 2025 may just build the biggest and best float for Johnston High School’s 2021 Homecoming.
Led by President Katie Loffler and Vice President Lucas Anderson, the freshman class that graduated from Nicholas A. Ferri Middle School in the spring, held the first of four car washes Saturday they hope will generate enough revenue to purchase supplies needed to build what they hope will be a prize-winning float.
Thanks to the generosity of Anthony Ferranti, who owns and operates Anthony’s Auto Body Inc. at 119 Greenville Ave. in Johnston, the incoming freshmen began what will be their four-year journey on Cherry Hill working five-hours plus washing a number of vehicles – including a Johnston Fire Department Rescue – and raising the first $700 that will be used to build one of four JHS Homecoming floats that will cost several thousand dollars to construct.
The Class of 2025 work force, which also included Secretary Marcel Johnson, Chantel DeJesus and Bobbisue Tranhan during the morning shift and other students in the afternoon, were backed by Anderson’s mother and Attorney Stephanie Anderson, Lori Richard and Ferranti’s daughter Kristen McAteer, who gave up her morning to open the auto body and even helped hook up the water hoses.
Moreover, the three women also took turns spelling the students’ names and held colorful handmade signs that attracted motorists driving up-and-down Greenville Avenue.
Although there was no set fee to have a vehicle washed, people who pulled into Anthony’s Auto Body were what Stephanie Anderson called “more than generous with their donations.”
So, once a vehicle pulled into the front of Ferranti’s shop, the students went to work and even used long-handle brushes and extra-large sponges to wash every part of a car, SUV or truck including wheel coverings.
It was the first success story for Advisor Chrissy Young’s upstart high school students who a number of motorists mentioned had as much – and even more – enthusiasm than a rookie who was making his Major League Baseball debut.
“These kids are making this lots of fun,” said Kristen McAteer, who enjoyed her morning coffee that dear ol’ dad brought when he stopped by to make sure everything was going smoothly and the students had enough tools for their fund-raising efforts. “We’re happy and proud to help the kids.”
To which Anthony Ferranti, who even had his car washed and made a special donation, added: “I welcome the students and I’m looking forward to hosting three more car washes so that can build a beautiful (Homecoming) float.”
Although no date for the 2021 Homecoming Celebration and town-wide parade – which was wiped out last year because of the on-going COVID-19 Pandemic – has been set, Anthony’s Auto Body will host the Class of 2025 Car Washes on Saturday – Aug. 21, Sept. 11 and Sept. 18 – from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and accept any and all donations that will lead to building their first-ever float.
For people not familiar with the JHS Homecoming, it is well-known throughout the state as a model – and only student event of its kind – that features the traditional al-night building party the night before the annual parade.
As yet another example of how well organized the Class of 2025 is, the students have already been granted space by Chris Hurd inside one of Hurd Auto Group’s spacious facilities on Hartford Avenue.