CLEARFIELD – Ten years ago, the Clearfield Falcons initiated a side project of the school’s Sub-for-Santa efforts, creating the annual Falcons are Fabulous effort.
In 2010, the school built a daycare in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Last year, they raised money for the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
This year, the students wanted to give closer to home.
They hoped to raise $12,000 at Clearfield High School to support the Utah Chapter of the Wounded Warrior Project.
A kick-off assembly for Falcons are Fabulous began on Monday, Dec. 17 with a student talent show. The student body voted for their favorite acts with monetary donations. Other events followed throughout the week. It involved the entire student body. The Falcons raised more than $14,000.
At the closing assembly on Dec. 21, Student Body Officer Alex Arave, who was in charge of the service project, presented a $12,000 check to J.D. Wells, who is spearheading the Utah Chapter of Wounded Warriors. The remaining monies collected will go to needy families in Clearfield.
“People have been really excited about this. The JROTC has been a great support. I’ve never been prouder to be a Falcon,” said Arave.
The events of the week included a penny war between the sophomore, junior, and senior classes to collect coins.
In addition, the Falcons are Fabulous Art Auction was opened to the public. Students sold student artwork including welding, sewing, painting and digital media pieces on the theme of courage.
The closing assembly included a miracle minute, where students, faculty, and staff had a last chance to donate cash or coin to the project.
The closing assembly also provided an opportunity for students and staff to win a bid to throw a pie in a teacher’s face. Bids were heated, back-and-forth, from $20 to a high of $220 per pie.
Many veterans and active duty service members attended the closing assembly. A few that belong to a veteran’s military motorcycle club started the closing assembly off with the rumble of engines.
The roaring motorcycle engines were matched only by the roaring student body. Later, on stage, the military members accepted the Falcons’ donation, which will help local military families with bills and necessities.
J.D. Wells, a Vietnam veteran; John Cole, a World War II and Korea veteran, and Van Sessions, the commander of the Northern Utah Chapter of the Purple Heart, were in attendance. There are eight purple hearts among them.
Wells began the Utah chapter because he was concerned that monies collected here were going to other areas, and he wanted to serve all military branches and veterans of all wars.
He called the Marines and began a Wounded Warrior chapter that will benefit veterans locally.
The Utah Chapter helps military families with rent or utilities. Wells’ goal is to raise enough moneyС$2 million Р that the project could do more, perhaps even build a house for a military family.
“One hundred percent of all donations go to help veterans. There is not a penny that goes to advertising costs, salaries, or administration,” said Wells.
At the assembly’s close, Wells told the students he has a dream, a dream of helping veterans. He told students that the veterans and active duty service members were proud of them.
“You’ve restored our hope in the future,” Wells said, as he presented Arave and the Clearfield High School student body with a plaque to thank them for their contribution.
Security was tight as the assembly began. All doors, save one, were locked, and three armed police officers were sentinels at the entrance, checking everyone as they arrived.
As Principal Suzi Jensen excused the students, she told them that they would honor the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in their first class with a moment of silence.
She was proud of them for being there. She encouraged them to enjoy the day, to enjoy the season, and to enjoy their families.