LGHS carnival to benefit ailing student

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

A big event is happening this weekend at Locust Grove High School and it came about because some students identified someone in their midst who needed a hand.

“Revved Up for Randy” is the brainchild of the school’s first-ever Chick-fil-A Leader Acad-emy class. It starts this Saturday at 4 p.m. on the school’s football field with a host of activities for the entire family, including many age-appropriate things to do for young and old - a bouncy house, water slide, petting zoo, waffle-eating contest and bungee run among many others.

Sundown will be movie time, as the group hosts an outdoor showing of “Monsters, Inc.”

Admission it $5, and each attendee will receive a wristband to come and go at will. A few activities may have a small additional fee, but nearly everything is included in the initial price.

The proceeds benefit Randy Purl, a ninth-grader at LGHS who is fighting Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The name of the event was inspired by Purl’s love of cars and racing.

According to Cathy Bernat, a Spanish teacher at the school and the Leader Academy facilitator, the students in her group are required to complete an “impact project” at the end of the school year. They came up with the idea to help their fellow student on their own during a January brainstorming session, she said.

The Chick-fil-A Leader Academy is designed to teach students leadership skills and improve their abilities to communicate and work as a team. The planning and organization for this event is a perfect manifestation of those lessons, Bernat pointed out.

The project is also supported by the Chick-fil-A Foundation, and the company has raised its level of involvement since learning of the goal of the project, Bernat said.

“Most of the students don’t really know him [Purl] that well,” she said. “The program has really taught them to focus on the community and on giving back. It’s been a powerful experience for me as well.”

There are 19 students in grades 10-11 in the Leader Academy at Locust Grove, one of a few schools in the county that participates in the program. They were nominated by their teachers last fall, Bernat said.

Everyone in the community is invited to attend Saturday’s activities. Locust Grove High School is at the corner of Peeksville Road and South Ola Road.