Ocean City Community Brings Good Luck to High School Seniors

first_imgOcean City High School senior Peyton Matura, 17, of Upper Township, left, displays some goodies in her gift bag from math teacher Caitlin Jagielski. By MADDY VITALEOcean City High School seniors got a nice surprise at the end of the school day Tuesday.Rows of Senior Celebration bags lined tables and each senior got to take one home.And Wednesday will be a repeat of gift-giving by volunteers in the community for the other half of the senior class.Each baggie contained “Raider Nation March Madness” goodies donated or created by local, dedicated volunteers and businesses.“It is nice. It is something special for us,” explained Peyton Matura, 17, a senior from Upper Township, as she peeked into her bag.“It has been a difficult time for all of us,” she continued, referring to the pandemic.OCHS math teacher Caitlin Jagielski, who had handed Peyton her goodie bag, added, “We have a very strong community. I say it is the silver lining on a cloudy day.”Plenty of surprises fill the goodie bags.Each bag contained an OC mug, stickers, Johnson’s Popcorn and candy.Homemade butter cookies, courtesy of Kookie Kids, a student-led mission of St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in Ocean City, made for another tasty treat.To top it off was a bit of St. Patrick’s Day luck with a “pot of gold” filled with sweet surprises.It was the second month of presents in the form of goodie bags to recognize the Class of 2021.Last month the 335 seniors received Valentine’s Day baggies filled with goodies handed out over two days as well, one day for each group of seniors.St. Peter’s United Methodist Church is the hub for assembling the Senior Celebration bags.Jennifer Bowman, of Ocean City, and her family, along with other volunteers, came up with the idea to do something special for the graduating class.Bowman explained in an earlier interview that they wanted to show seniors how special they are, especially during a time when the pandemic led to cancellations of so many senior events in 2021.Math teacher Caitlin Jagielski hands Giovanna Evans, 17, of Upper Township, her gift bag.Kookie Kids was created by Jennifer’s daughter, Katie. Now, Katie’s younger sister, Kelsea, does the baking, along with her friend, Andi Helperstine, and other volunteers.As seniors took their bags and rushed off to catch the bus or get in their cars, some stopped for a few moments to speak to their teachers and fellow students.Giovanna Evans, 17, of Upper Township, said she thought the gift bags were a great idea and really helped with morale.“I think it is a really nice way to celebrate the seniors, especially with the COVID pandemic,” Giovanna said. “It has been really hard for all of us.”For more information about how to help out or give a cash donation toward creating the Senior Celebration bags and for other items that are needed, text or call Jennifer Bowman at 609-425-1474.Volunteers make up the bags at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church. (Photo courtesy of Jen Bowman)last_img read more