Union High School students display their Christmas spirit

Photo Courtesy of Patrick Martin
Jill Little, Maria Tobon and Joy Adedeji make preparations for their ‘first ever’ holiday bazaar to raise money for their fellow students to pay for expensive advanced placement exams.

UNION— Students at Union High School are showing the true spirit of Christmas this year by hosting a holiday bazaar that will benefit fellow students.

Tuesday the public will get a firsthand opportunity to kick off their holiday spirit and support a worthy cause by attending the “first ever” Holiday Bazaar put on by the high school’s Advanced Placement and Honors English classes.

The event will take place at Union High School from 3 to 7 p.m.in the school cafeteria and the public is invited to attend.

Dubbed “a Bizarre Bazaar,” the event is almost entirely student run with a festive lineup that includes, among many other things, nail painting, hair styling, caricatures created by student animators, and just for added fun, a chance to test pie-throwing skills.

Two live bands will be on hand to entertain and keep visitors in the holiday mood, while they sample international foods prepared by students and their families.

Santa Claus and his Elves will also be attending the event to meet and greet those attending but also taking time for photos, which will only cost $2. A bargain considering what it costs for this type of picture at malls.

The proceeds from the event will go entirely to help students pay for the AP Literature exams that can end up being quite costly. So costly that many students decide not to even mention the test to their parents, who may be having a rough time financially.

According to Superintendent of Schools Patrick Martin, the AP tests are important for students because most colleges will accept an AP course, for instance, in English, so a student does not have to take it in their freshman year.

“Each AP test will cost $75 to $80 this year and that begins to add up when a student is taking multiple AP tests,” said Martin Tuesday morning, adding that he thought it was “wonderful that students  are looking out for one another.”

The idea for the event first surfaced in September as students in Sandy Mangarella’s English class discussed the prospect of the impending AP tests and how cost prohibitive it would be for most students heading to college. Jill Little, a junior, pointed out that everyone was concerned that many families may not be able to afford such a cost, given the tight economic climate.

“We really just sat around and tried to come up with ways to help defray the cost,” said the 11th grader who this year is editor of the school newspaper.

Maria Tobon, a sophomore, said everyone became excited about being able to help fellow students and the rest is history.

Joy Adedeji, a junior, explained that once the bazaar theme was decided on, students thought it was best for the English Department supervisor to decide who would benefit the most from the proceeds.

Students actually thought about the event not being cost prohibitive for those attending. So, students thought the best way to handle things was to sell tickets at the door that can be used like money to purchase any number of things at the bazaar. For example, if someone wanted a caricature of themselves, drawn by very talented students from the school’s Anime Club, they would present tickets, not money.

“It will be very reasonable to buy tickets,” said Maria, explaining that although each ticket is $1, if someone spends $10, they get three bonus tickets.

All three students were excited about the upcoming event, which will take place in the high school’s two cafeterias, where two live bands, Bravado and In Our Glory, will be performing the entire time.

Principal Edward Gibbons could not be prouder of these students whose first thoughts were of others.

“What can you say about students who want to help those who have a financial hardship, except this is commendable and fitting the holiday season of giving,” he said.

Gibbons has stood firmly behind the effort that has been months in the planning, supporting and encouraging his students, as teachers have. In a united effort, all are busily working like Santa’s elves to ensure that when the doors open Tuesday at 3 p.m., visitors will truly embrace the Christmas spirit of giving.