by Shawn Young for McNick Alumni Now
On December 9, twenty-five McNicholas alumni and students gathered in the Cafe to help others have a better Christmas. This effort is a service project of the alumni board and fondly referred to as St. Nick at McNick.
Step back a few years...The alumni board wanted to do something to unite the alumni in a cause. Bridget Moran Kahermanes '66 presented the "St. Nick" idea to the board. It had been a successful alumni project from the past that she and her class cared very deeply about, and they wanted to get it back up and running. With the alumni board's support, Bridget and her team of elves from the Class of '66 have championed the effort for three years now.
Each year, the St. Nick at McNick crew solicits donations, and then uses that money to purchase items requested by several charities. The main charity is C.A.I.N. (Churches Active in Northside). This social service organization is run by two McNicholas alums from the Class of '79,MiMi Chamberlin and Cathy Graham.
With the help of many Rocket alumni, this year, St. Nick at McNick collected nearly $8,000 in cash and donated items. After shopping 'till they dropped, it all came together on December 9. The St. Nick crew and other alumni gathered in the cafe and student union, along with some student volunteers, where they wrapped presents and put together over 190 gift bags. It was a very good night. Christmas music was playing, and everyone had a great time while doing a great thing.
On December 16, the merry elves loaded up their sleighs and delivered them to C.A.I.N. in time for the Christmas dinner served at their community dinner/soup kitchen. Once again the St. Nick at McNick team was joined in this effort by McNicholas students. The students helped unload all of the presents, set up the space for dinner that night, carried trays, helped people to their tables, and kept the children entertained at a craft station. Additionally that night, several members from the Classes of '66 and '79 prepared and served the Christmas meal.
McNicholas High School prides itself on the service of its students today, and it is great to see the alumni continue and carry on that tradition.