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Pine Lake and Beaver Lake Leadership Classes Surprise Tukwila's Cascade View Elementary with Clothing and Toy Drive for the Holidays

Pine Lake and Beaver Lake Leadership Classes Surprise Tukwila's Cascade View Elementary with Clothing and Toy Drive for the Holidays

Posted by Elizabeth Egan on 20 December, 2017
On Friday, December 15 students from the Associated Student Body (ASB) groups at Pine Lake Middle School and Beaver Lake Middle School surprised over 525 students at Cascade View Elementary in Tukwila on their final day before winter break. 

The project, which eventually came to be known as “Operation Captain Winter,” commenced in mid-November as Pine Lake leadership teacher Eric Ensey and ASB Advisor Roy Cress set out with the goal of giving their students the opportunity to make a more direct, personal connection with their community support activities. Ensey had previously worked with Teodora Bordeanu, Principal at Cascade View Elementary, and knew she had experience working with communities in need. He reached out in hopes she had some ideas on a school he and his students could connect with, and after hearing about Cascade View Ensey knew this was the perfect match.

With a quick call to Beaver Lake’s ASB advisor Josh Berg, ASB officers at both schools came together and launched a clothing and toy drive, aiming to provide every student at Cascade View with winter clothing accessories and a toy for the holidays. The kickoff assembly took place on November 28 and the donations started pouring in. Even though there were “angel donors” – volunteers ready to purchase what was still needed in the event not enough was donated during the two week timeframe – waiting in the wings, not a single angel donor was needed. In fact, between donations at both Pine Lake and Beaver Lake there were enough items for more students than Cascade View had enrolled!

Meanwhile Ensey had undertaken a secret project by finding an anonymous donor who contributed custom Cascade View sweatshirts for each student and staff member at the school. With the help of Principal Bordeanu’s secretary, Angela Meyer, Ensey was able to keep the sweatshirts a secret from everyone at Cascade View including Principal Bordeanu! On the evening of December 12 the Skyline Cheer squad helped sort the sweatshirts into classrooms, making sure that staff sweatshirts were stored separately to include a custom card from the ASB officers and a $10 Starbucks gift card.

On the morning of December 15, with buses hidden around the corner from the school to avoid being seen, the ASB officers from Pine Lake and Beaver Lake made their way quickly into Cascade View’s cafeteria where bags of goodies were stored the night before. The officers quietly found their assigned classroom’s items and waited in silence while students and staff were called to a surprise assembly. With a short skit from two helper elves and Captain Winter the middle schoolers explained why they had come to visit the students of Cascade View. They had heard so many magnificent things about the elementary students, specifically the kindness they show everyone on a daily basis, that they knew they had to come meet them.

Ensey then took the mic, explaining that the helper elves were here with gifts for every student. Each gift bag contained a hat, mittens, socks, and a toy. Then he surprised the staff and students with the Cascade View hoodies – complete with logo on the front and school saying “We Welcome the World” on the back. Helper elves were on hand at the end of the assembly to accompany each class back to their room and pass out their goodies.

Captain Winter headed to Ms. Ramirez’s kindergarten class, where she and a few helper elves assisted in passing out the goodie-bags. Students eagerly looked through their winter accessories and jumped up and down excitedly at seeing their toy. One student who found Legos in his bag couldn’t contain his excitement at having Legos of his very own. The sweatshirts were marked with each child’s name, and then students quickly pulled them on before settling in with their third grade buddies for a viewing of How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

After helping out in the classrooms, the ASB officers accompanied the elementary students out onto the playground for some high energy fun at recess. Games of tag, tetherball, basketball, gymnastics, and more overtook the play area, continuing the fun in what had already been a very magical day. 

After such a successful visit, and watching many friendships form between Pine Lake, Beaver Lake, and Cascade View students, Ensey and Berg plan to continue this relationship for many years with the elementary as a sister school.