Teacher Eileen Noworyta’s 20-year-old son, Kevin (far right, top photo) was deployed to Iraq a few months back. That’s when Eileen’s fellow teachers and some students at South Park High School decided that they would gather goodies for the soldiers to enjoy.
According to Noworyta, the effort was spearheaded by Assistant Principal Denise Denz and teacher Mary Pat Furey. Denz sent out a note via lotus notes to the staff asking for donations of items that would be appreciated and needed by the troops. “She also consulted JROTC officers at our school to hear what was really needed from their active duty perspectives,” Noworyta said. “The staff and students were extremely generous and the donations were piling up in her office.”
South Park collected enough “Peeps,” Rice Krispie treats and jellybeans to fill 90 baskets for all the men in Apache Troop. “South Park High School came through in a big way for the soldiers,” Noworyta said.
Denz said she has never seen so many peeps in one room. The efforts of many filled 20 boxes and totaled over 250 pounds of food, health care items and games, puzzles and recreational type contributions filled the boxes.
Kevin Noworyta said that his fellow soldiers in Apache Troop at Camp Liberty, Iraq, had the chance to comb through the bounty three times before everything was gone.
PFC Kevin Noworyta has been in the US Army for about a year. He completed Basic and AIT at Fort Knox, KY between April - August 2010 and then went to his next assignment at Ft. Hood, TX for specialty training as a Scout with the Cavalry. In January 2011, Kevin and approximately 300 fellow soldiers were deployed from Ft. Hood to Iraq as part of Operation New Dawn. Their mission is to partner with the Iraqi Federal Police Brigade while reducing the US military’s combat role in the country.
”We know that his current deployment can last for a year which means that he could be there through January 2012,” says his mother. “Musician/TV personality, Gene Simmons gave a rousing speech to the troops before boarding seven busses taking them to their flights. It was quite emotional for all of us in attendance and makes you proud to be an American when you witness such an event.
The soldiers then made a sign of thanks (pictured above) that Kevin Noworyta sent to the school.