The Cape Coral Police Department honored 14 students during its monthly Do The Right Thing awards ceremony this week at City Hall.
- Corey Thomann, 1st grade, Gulf Elementary, son of Rene & Eric Thomann
On the evening of Wednesday, Oct. 24, Corey's mom suffered from a medical condition and fell to the floor in the middle of the night. Corey heard the noise and woke up. He saw his mother lying on the floor and while he knew his mom suffered from seizures in the past, this situation didn't resemble anything he'd seen before. He immediately dialed 911 and ran to get his dad, then unlocked the door for the paramedics so they could enter. When his mom was transported to the hospital via ambulance, Corey rode with her. He is a very intelligent young man who is wise beyond his years. He handled the situation wonderfully and Corey's mom states the obvious; he's her hero.
- Hunter Graham, 7th grade, Oasis Middle, son of Bridgett & Billy Graham
Hunter was in his car riding on Pine Island Road with his mother when he noticed she began slurring her words and sweating profusely. She soon admitted that she was having chest pains. She pulled the car over to the side of the road and asked Hunter to call his dad. Hunter had taken middle school health where he learned the signs of a heart attack. He recognized the symptoms so instead of calling his father, Hunter called 911. The paramedics rushed his mom to the hospital, and the Graham family was told later that if Hunter had not known what to do and had not acted so quickly, his mom may not had made it. Hunter is a role-model for all ages for keeping a calm attitude and applying what he had learned in school, to save his mother's life.
- Jeniffer Zelaya, 12th grade, Island Coast, daughter of Rosa Rivas
- Javier Pino, 12th grade, Island Coast, son of Tamaro Pino
- Kimberly Dufresne, 12th grade, Island Coast, daughter of Susan Dufresne
- Yudi Hernandez, 12th grade, Island Coast, daughter of Mairela Hernandez
- Skye McCollum, 12th grade, Island Coast, daughter of Luanne Maki & Michael McCollum
- Brooke Kneram, 12th grade, Island Coast, daughter of Tara & John Walsh
High school seniors have a lot on their plates. With work, sports, college applications, friends and school activities there is not a lot of time remaining. These six Island Coast students, though, made the extra time. They heard of a teacher from North Fort Myers High who died unexpectedly leaving behind four children. Despite their schedules they took on the project of holding a Halloween party fund-raiser, decorating the establishment and working the event and were able to earn $562 for the family.
- Mary Castillo, 5th grade, St Andrew, daughter of Mercedes & Fernando Castillo
Mary's parents run a food pantry in Fort Myers and Mary has been going with them to work every Saturday since 2008. The children who attended with their parents inspired Mary and she began to notice their needs and act on them. She began teaching the children about manners and personal hygiene and began Catechism classes for them as well. Her bilingual ability helps this process. She has now recruited the older children to help to teach the younger ones. She has been working with 40 children and confided that at the end of the day each Saturday she is tired but happy and says that she is grateful for her parents who taught her well so that she can teach others. Mary has goals to become a missionary doctor in the future so she can help people in need.
- Hunter Thomas, 5th grade, Pelican Elementary, son of Jim & April Thomas
Hunter was nominated by his dad who writes the following, "Hunter's mother April & I are divorced. October 18th was my night with the boys; I was to pick up Hunter at his mother's work, Coral Trace Nursing Home. When I called her to tell her I was on my way, I was surprised that Hunter didn't want to go with me but said he'd rather stay and pass out dinners to the residents. I reassured April that it was a good thing he was doing and when I picked him up on Friday for the weekend, I asked about his experience at Coral Trace. He said he really enjoyed visiting with the residents and planned to do it again soon." Since then, his mom has also elaborated on Hunter's efforts at Coral Trace. She states that Hunter joins her often and plays bingo with the residents, and gives them rides to and from their rooms. He likes to deliver the mail and help them open it if necessary. He also brings the paper to them early on Saturday morning and reads to them. Both of Hunter's parents are proud to have a son who has such a big heart.
- Zachary Lovell, 7th grade, Gulf Middle, son of Brandey Lovell
- Brent Deno, 7th grade, Gulf Middle, son of Mike & Sherry Deno
We've all seen the work of the Salvation Army lately; the non-profit organization provides programs and services to help those in need through selfless service to others. Around the world, the Salvation Army provides social services to aid the poor, and runs additional programs including disaster relief, elderly services, prisoner rehabilitation and youth camps.
So when Gulf Middle held a canned goods drive to benefit the Salvation Army, Zachary and Brent went above and beyond to help. Zachary collected 360 cans of food and Brent collected 400 canned goods earning themselves the spots as top two contributors.
- Savannah Taylor, 3rd grade, Trafalgar Elementary, daughter of Ellery & Cathy Taylor
- Jillian Sagi, 3rd grade, Trafalgar Elementary, daughter of Joe & Jodi Sagi
About a month into the school year, Savannah and Jillian's class welcomed a new student who had a lot of difficulties and needed assistance adjusting to the school and classroom. These two young ladies didn't know the background of the new student; that she was uncomfortable in the new setting because she came from another school where she was being bullied. They only knew that she wasn't adjusting well, and without being prompted, Savannah and Jillian took a leadership role modeling how this child should be treated. They provided her with attention and were kind to her by sitting with her in the classroom and at lunch, explaining the daily routines to her, showing her where to find materials, and helping her with her work. They never left her side and aided her in every way possible. Their teacher states, "sometimes a student walks in your door and you feel proud to be their teacher because you know you've instilled the right qualities in your classroom."