Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

2015: a great year of service

 

Star file photo

After 31 years of teaching at the Green River Co-op Preschool, Debbie Varley retired.

In 2015, the community of Green River was busy donating their time, giving donations or being recognized for their accomplishments.

2015 kicked off with both communities seeking blood donations. Both Green River High School and Rock Springs High School competed in the Premier Bone and Joint Center's Blood Drive Challenge.

Green River residents were asked to bleed green, while Rock Springs residents were asked to bleed orange. The friendly rivalry has always helped the cause. The total amount raised between both communities was 567 pints. Green River collected 285 pints and Rock Springs collected 282.

For a third year in a row, Green River beat Rock Springs, but just like in year's past, it was close.

In March, one Green River resident decided to bake 50 dozen cookies to send to soldiers serving overseas. Cheryl Jensen said the whole project started when she sent Christmas cards to soldiers. She then started to think about what else she could send that she knew they would not otherwise get to enjoy -- homemade baked cookies sounded good.

At first, Jensen baked a few dozen, but over the years she has received more and more names of people from this community serving overseas. She wanted to make sure they received cookies too. This year, she bought dough from the Girl Scouts and used it to bake the cookies. This way, she was helping more than one group at the same time.

The cookies were mailed; and soldiers from this community were able to enjoy the fruits of her labor.

Also in March, the GRHS Speech and Debate team brought home another state championship title to add to its collection. It was the sixth year in a row the team took first at state.

Not only did they take the state championship, but they took first in districts. Eleven students qualified for nationals. Those students were Alan Halverson, Patrick Harvey, Maggie Fisher, JD Richardson, Alexander Marchal, Dallin Hoyt, Gregory Marchal, Kirsti Patterson, Kaitlyn Tyler, Abigaile Grubb and Victoria Gilliam. At nationals, Alexander Marchal took seventh in extemporaneous debate, while JD Richardson and Maggie Fischer, public-forum debaters, finished in the top 24 at nationals.

In April, GRHS student Alan Halverson won the 2014 Wyoming InvestWrite Fall Essay Contest. Halverson had to wait to get into Mickey Kleinman's investments class because is was full. According to a press release from the Wyoming Stock Market Game coordinator, as part of the class, students had to learn about the stock market and investing opportunities. To help with this process, students participated in the Wyoming Stock Market Game, which is sponsored by the Wyoming Council on Economic Education and The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Associations. Halverson and his team where given an imaginary $100,000 dollars to invest. Before the students set out to make their investments, they were taught different strategies to use when putting their money in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. These strategies showed them how to try and obtain maximum profits while concentrating on long-term investments. Halverson and his team picked Netflick and Lightbridge as their companies and it paid off with an award. Halverson had to write an essay explaining the process and based off of that essay he was given an award.

Also taking place in April, was the GRHS Theater Department musical "The Sound of Music." The thespians performed "The Sound of Music" song by Rodgers and Hammerstein; and others including, "The Sound of Music," "Do-Re-Mi," "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" "My Favorite Things" and "So Long - Farewell." This musical went over really well.

It was also around this time that the city of Green River announced well-known educator and Boy Scoutmaster Dennis Freeman as one of recipients of the 2015 Green River Distinguished Citizen of the Year award. The other Distinguished Citizen of the Year award went to Randy Walker.

Walker was recognized for his 30 years of coaching swimming and for his dedication to the Green River Aquatic Center project, which Walker was instrumental in.

In May, Green River Co-op Preschool said goodbye to Debbie Varley, who retired after 31 years of teaching.

Varley, who was better known as "Miss Debbie," started out as a substitute teacher and as she gained experience she attended early childhood education seminars to expand her knowledge.

Varley enjoyed working with three, four and five year olds. She said they are sponges, that absorb all the knowledge and skills that they can. Both the students and other employees at the preschool were sad when she announced her retirement, but were happy for her.

Also in May, GRHS student Laura Harris found out she received numerous scholarships, including one for the University of Utah, a $1,000 Wyoming Art scholarship at the Wyoming Art Competition, a $1,000 Prudential Spirit of the Community scholarship and $22,000 over her four years of college from the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.

She plans to obtain a bachelor's degree in business and art at the University of Utah and then obtain a master's degree in ceramics from Alfred University: School of Art and Design in New York.

In July, GRHS freshman Ryan Deutsch collected truck loads of care-package items for the troops and about $1,650 to help pay for shipping costs. Deutsch started collecting items when he was a student at Monroe Intermediate School. Each year it seems Deutsch collects even more money and care-package items.

In September, a Green River mother opened up about her nine-year-old son Joe Renfro who was born without arms and hands and had bones missing in his legs. Renfro and his family raised enough money through raffles to pay for half of a bike. The Shriners paid for the other half of the bike.

The year wrapped up in the true sprit of giving when the Green River Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 2321 members, Girl Scouts and community members gathered to put priority boxes together, fill them with care-package items, tape them shut and address them to local soldiers serving overseas.

After all of the boxes were packed, the VFW took all of them to the Green River Post Office to mail them. These care packages were set before Christmas in the hopes that they would arrive before Christmas.

 

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