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Published: Thursday, 10/21/2004

Rossford: Penta students working on parade

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Cassey Outland, from left, Sharralyn Kauo-Schlegel and Justin Behrman make posters. Cassey Outland, from left, Sharralyn Kauo-Schlegel and Justin Behrman make posters.
HIRES / BLADE Enlarge

While their peers may be planning to attend the annual Rossford Halloween parade, 21 Rossford High School students are in the midst of planning the Oct. 31 event.

Students enrolled in the Penta Rossford Marketing Education Program, also known as Rossford DECA - a Penta Career Center satellite - have been working since the beginning of the school year to keep the annual parade alive, becoming the first high school class to undertake this task.

Heather Smith-Nissen, marketing teacher and DECA adviser, said the Rossford Community Service League had planned the parade for the past 30 years, but the group disbanded this summer.

"There was not going to be a parade because of that, so we decided to step up and take the challenge," she said.

Adding planning a parade into the mix of schoolwork, after-school activities, and part-time jobs required the students to get organized, so they divided themselves into four committees to get the parade up and running.

Senior Tyler Klotz, 18, is on the business committee that has gone door-to-door to about 50 local businesses to distribute flyers and to get the word out about the parade.

"We went around town to see if they wanted to contribute in any way with a donation or a float or even just a sign for advertising," he said.

Some have volunteered their windows and bulletin boards for signs and flyers, which is where senior Cassandra Reis, 17, and the publicity committee come into play.

Members of the committee have hung up flyers in local businesses, written press releases for the newspaper and are working on making signs for prominent city people who will ride in cars during the parade.

"At first, I thought it was going to be really hard, but now that we're into it, everything's going smoothly," Ms. Reis said.

Those on the costumes and characters committee, like senior Jon Joldrichsen, 17, have been busy on the phone lining up mascots from local businesses and organizations for the parade.

"We just made a list of people in the area that we thought might have a costume and we gave them a call," he said.

A parade wouldn't be a parade without floats, and senior Justin Behrman, 18, and the organizations and judges committee have been working to get local organizations interested in being in the parade. The group is also responsible for rounding up judges for the costume and float contests, and have three so far, but would like to have five.

The costume contest categories for children are ages five and under; grades one through three; and grades four through six. There is also a category for junior high school students through adults; and another category for a group theme with two or more people.

The floats will be judged in two categories at 12:45 p.m. Oct. 31 at Veteran's Memorial Park: floats that are 8-by-10 feet or larger, and floats that are 4-by-5 feet and smaller. Mrs. Smith-Nissen said at least 15 to 20 floats have signed up so far, but she hopes there will be more before Tuesday's deadline.

A total of 21 prizes - including cash and gift certificates - will be given out for the three best floats and costumes in each category, with dollar amounts ranging from $5 to $50.

"It's been a lot of fun organizing the parade," Mr. Joldrichsen said. "I've watched it my whole life, and being able to take care of it is pretty cool."

The parade will begin at 2 p.m. at Veteran's Memorial Park and will run 1.2 miles. It will travel from the marina down Hannum Avenue, then will turn right on Hoffman Avenue, left on Jennings Road, left on Eagle Point Road, left on Dixie Highway, and right on Glenwood Road before ending behind Rossford High School.



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