While most people pledge to shed some pounds at this time each year, students and adults connected with the Johnston High School Music Department are hoping to gain as much weight as possible.
The effort will again be part of a heart-warming program to raise money for the Fourth Annual Rachel E. Carson Memorial Scholarship.
"A good deal of what we do at this time of year is in Rachel's memory," said Ron Lamoureux, who chairs the national award-winning JHS Music Department. "Rachel's classmates really wanted to honor her memory and celebrate her life; those kids collected money that spring and made donations to the Audubon Society of Rhode Island Leukemia and Lymphoma Society."
The late Carson, who was a highly-popular JHS student-musician, lost her courageous battle with Leukemia back on Jan. 18, 2018, and since her unfortunate passing students and adults alike remember her as a lover of life, music and wildlife.
Her classmates, as Lamoureux and JHS Chorus-Choir Director Matt Gingras emphasized: "Worked tirelessly to establish the Rachel E. Carson Memorial Scholarship that was initially funded from generous donations by her parents and church parish that led to the first awards given to members of the JHS graduating Class of 2019."
Since then, the prestigious scholarship has been funded in part by what Lamoureux called a "fundrive" and unique program sponsored by Savers.
Thus, between now and Wednesday, Jan. 26, the JHS Music Department and JSMA (Johnston School Music Association) is hoping to meet its 2022 goal of collecting 5,000 pounds of gently used clothing that will be delivered to Savers in Warwick on Thursday, Jan. 27.
"We will be able to accept all items up to (Wednesday) Jan. 26," Lamoureux announced. "Until that time we will be collecting gently used clothing and other soft goods and everyone is hoping we can meet — or possibly surpass — our goal of taking in 5,000 pounds."
After pausing and noting "this is a great opportunity to remember a (JHS) student whose life sadly ended back in 2018 by putting bags of gently used clothing and other items together and simply dropping them off at Johnston High School."
Lamoureux, whose student musicians and Gingras' vocalists are rated among the best in the state, continued: "We are really hoping for a great community effort to keep the scholarship growing. We know that Rachel would be thrilled with the recycling effort as a fundraiser."
As the highly respected and hardworking JHS band leader reiterated: "Anyone can drop donations at the school between now and Jan. 26; we can also make arrangements to pick up some goods as well."
Johnstonians who would like to donate, and help, may also make arrangements with Lamoureux by calling 401-233-1920 ext. 2102 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
"We all know that it's going to take a monumental effort to collect 5,000 pounds of gently used clothing," said Lamoureux, who noted that last year's drive was cut short by COVID-19. "But there's extra incentives that will help keep Rachel's name — and memorial — alive."
Perhaps the most impressive is being coordinated by the JSMA, the non-profit booster group that will give $100 travel credit to each student that brings in five bags of clothing donations or more.
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