Honking for Helpers

Tina Woolston was given a Heart Attack on Friday, one she was overwhelmed and overjoyed to receive.

Woolston, a parent volunteer at the Village Green Day School in Great Falls, was one of more than a dozen volunteers honored at the schools first Honk for Volunteers celebration Friday morning. "Today's going to be a love fest, that's all it is," said Lynne Roots, principal of the school at the beginning of the event. The more than 100 students who attend preschool and kindergarten at the school were given plastic horns featuring elephants, tigers or lions to squeeze as loudly as possible when given a signal to show their appreciation for the parents who donate their time and skills, Roots said. "Our Parent Advisory Council is sort of like a PTA," she said. "They plant events for the school and each class has a parent representative." Some members of the Parent Advisory Council are also involved in the Good Neighbor Network, meaning they try to go into the Great Falls community and create partnerships with local businesses or organizations, she said. "These are people who felt they wanted to do more community outreach. Last year they took food to needy families around the holidays, they help families who have had a fire in their homes," Roots said. "This year they also collected items for care packages to send to soldiers overseas through the USO and raised over $900 for tsunami relief which was matched by a company one of our moms works for," she said. In addition to honoring parent volunteers, the children gave special thanks to Jorge Adeler, who sponsors an Easter egg hunt every spring, and to Mike Kearney for the Great Falls Charitable Foundation. Both men received checks for $1,667, money raised by donations the students made in pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Woolston, Cindy Smith and Toni Howell were also given a Commanders Coin from Ed Powell, president of the USO, for their work with the care packages the school sent overseas.