Stow-Munroe Falls Seniors Treated to Jim Tressel Speech, Cool Prizes
Marhofer Auto Family donated new car, electronics items for merit-based student raffle.
When members of the Stow-Munroe Falls High Class of 2012 gathered for their last official event at school Wednesday morning, they had no idea that 20 of them would leave with prizes like iPad3s, NOOk eReaders, 19-inch flatscreen TVs – and a brand new car!
The former Ohio State University football coach inspired students to continue “to make a difference” after graduation, said Kathleen Thomas, SMFHS administrator.
Jacquie Mazziotta, district public relations director, said Tressel “offered a very fun, engaging student address.” A video of Tressel’s speech accompanies this story.
Thomas said that after the breakfast in the commons, students were recognized for earning Honors Diplomas, the President’s Education Award Program, Educational Achievement and Educational Excellence, along with the Award of Merit and PTSA Academic Award.
The Class of 2012 then moved to the auditorium for Tressel’s address, which was followed by a surprise drawing sponsored by the Marhofer Auto Family in Stow.
At the beginning of the school year students were introduced to the “Make a Difference” program, which Thomas said encouraged them to “Be a change maker, make a difference, do the right thing, lead instead of following!”
She said students earned tickets throughout the school year for “making a difference” in areas such as punctuality and attendance, grade point average and improved grade point average. Faculty members also could make student nominations. All tickets were entered into the drawing.
Retiring teachers Mike Drozin, Bob Putka, Elaine Sayre and Brenda Walko, along with senior secretary Terry Jatich, were chosen to draw the winning tickets for the iPad3, NOOK and TV prizes donated by Marhofers.
Just when it seemed like the event was over, “the curtains on our stage were opened to reveal the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze,” Thomas said.
The lucky – and shocked – grand prize winner was Adam Carlyon, 17, who just happened to need a good car for his commutes to and from Kent State University, where he has been enrolled in the post-secondary program and will attend full-time in the fall.
Adam is the son of Rick and Susan Carlyon, owners of Oregon Corners Florist. Adam and his dad have been sharing an unreliable 2003 Dodge Neon; when Adam was driving the Neon, his father would drive the flower shop van.
Adam had given up hope of winning a prize (he couldn’t recall how many “Make a Difference” tickets he had earned throughout the school year) – particularly after his friend Mark Landis, seated nearby, won one of the last TVs up for grabs.
He knew it was over when the grand prize winner’s name was announced: David Campana. But it turns out that David wasn’t present – a requirement for the giveways – so one more name was drawn: Adam Carlyon.
“I saw (David) today at graduation practice. He said, ‘You have something of mine.’ I said, ‘It’s mine now,’” Adam said with a chuckle Thursday.
“Students were excited for each and every name drawn … the grand prize, a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze, was the high point of the morning,” Thomas said. “Ron Marhofer and his family made this dream a reality for all of us (and) we thank them for continuing to ‘Make a Difference’ at the high school.”
Chris Marhofer, operations manager for Marhofer Auto Family, said the business – founded in Stow in 1919 – has a history of donating vehicles and other items to charity auctions and similar events. But this is the first time the Marhofers have given a car away to a student.
Chris Marhofer said his father, Ron, was inspired to donate the Chevy Cruze and electronics items to the SMFHS “Make a Difference” program as a way of saying thanks to the community.
“Stow has been a great (place) for us,” Chris said. “My dad wanted to give back to the community, as they’ve given a lot to us as Ron Marhofer Auto Family.”