PNG students to give back to the community

Published 6:53 pm Wednesday, April 18, 2018

PORT NECHES — Groups of students from Port Neches-Groves High School are preparing to give back to others in the community with PNG Indians Give.

Upwards of 300 people including students, faculty and community members, will spread out across the area doing good deeds for others Saturday.

Projects range from washing fire and police vehicles, planting crepe myrtles and feeding first-responders to picking up litter and a link sale/car wash to benefit St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in memory of Austyn Halter.

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The idea came from high school principal Scott Ryan who saw the community service event at Texas A&M.

In addition, he was inspired by the Indian Band students he saw in the immediate aftermath of Tropical Storm Harvey. Ryan and a friend were helping someone out when he saw the band students helping “muck” out an elderly woman’s house next door.

“I saw them and they were so fired up,” Ryan said. “It was probably Day 2 for them and they were probably on house No. 10. I ended up working with them and Alex Wells (band director).”

Assistant principal Crystal Werkheiser and student leader Bella Fiorenza joined Ryan in a discussion of the upcoming event.

“This was not us telling them what to do. They had the freedom to come up with their projects,” Werkheiser said.

Fiorenza said she first heard of the project at school in January then Ryan showed interested students videos of the A&M students participating in the “Big Event.”

“I decided I wanted to be part of it,” Fiorenza said.

Port Neches-Groves High School senior Bella Fiorenza, left, assistant principal Crystal Werkheiser and principal Scott Ryan pose with Geronimo at the high school. The group had been working out last minute plans for for Indians Give, a community service day.
Mary Meaux/The News

The day of Indians Gives begins at 8 a.m. with breakfast at the stadium parking lot courtesy of Huntsman. Then the groups will head out to their respective job sites. Lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. in the stadium parking lot courtesy of the Kiwanas Club of Jefferson County at 1 p.m.

“I want this to be a tradition, to make an impact,” Ryan said. “It’s already going to be big and I hope it grows and lasts forever.”