Treasure Mountain Junior High group holds drive for Harvey

Young boys in the Lion’s Heart Teen Group will send the supplies on Sunday

The Lion's Heart Teen Group gather before collecting supplies. Top row, from left: Jack Goodman, Michael O'Brien, Gabe Hopkins and Tyler Gallwas. Bottom row, from left: Tiana McIntyre, Colten McIntyre, Blake Matamoros and Bodi Marzka.
(Carolyn Webber/Park Record)

When Hurricane Harvey hit, Bodi Marzka, 13, asked himself, “What can I do to help?” After hearing about a kindergarten teacher who lost all of her classroom supplies during flooding, he presented his proposition to fellow members of the Lion’s Heart Teen Group and they decided to “adopt” the class.

The nine boys are now seeking donations for Ms. Pritt’s kindergarten class at the Harmony Science Academy in Sugar Land, Texas, just outside of Houston. They collected crayons, scissors, pencils, books, folders and a backpack going door-to-door in the Park Meadows neighborhood on Sunday, Sept. 17 and will pick up more supplies on Sunday, Sept. 24 before shipping everything off to Texas.

The boys, who joined the club last September when Lion’s Heart Teen Group began, are glad to be helping out in whatever way they can.

“It lets them know that there’s someone out there to help them,” said Colten McIntyre, 13.

Marzka became aware of Ms. Pritt’s classroom needs after his mother saw a request for help on Facebook. Dawn Marzka, Bodi’s mom, went to high school with Tammy Pritt, who had posted about the devastation at her school. This is the fourth time in three years that the school has flooded, and this last storm pushed them over the edge.

“This time, Harvey devastated everything. She had nothing left. She didn’t know what she was going to do,” Dawn Marzka said.

Since 75 percent of Pritt’s students are from low-income families, they needed a helping hand. Since returning to school on Monday, Sept. 11 they have been making do with what they have, which is next to nothing. Soon, the boys hope, those classes will be full again with everything they need.

The Lion’s Heart Teen Group is part of a nationwide service organization for students between grades six and 12. This past year, the boys logged a total of 490 service hours, doing such work as preparing boxes of food for developing countries and doing yard work for four hours straight. They often do not get to see the fruits of their effort, but knowing that they are helping someone is good enough.

“A lot of the times we don’t really get to see their reactions, which is kind of a down-side, but also you know that you helped them and it’s going to someone in need so it feels good,” Bodi Marzka said.

Debbie Matamoros is the class coordinator for the Park City Chapter, and she never ceases to be impressed by how hard the boys work.

“The busier the work is, the more excited they are to jump in and do it,” she said.

The group hopes to collect all of the supplies by Sept. 24 so that every student can have what they need to succeed in school.

“If they don’t have the supplies, then they won’t have an effective education. And kids are the future,” said Blake Matamoros, 13.

They have distributed a total of 110 fliers and will hand them out on Wednesday afternoon again before the final pick-up on Sunday. They are still asking for most of the items on the list, including erasers, crayon boxes, notebooks and backpacks.

“Maybe it will give them hope. Doing this is the least we can do,” said Jack Goodman, 13 “It feels good to give back.”

If you want to donate, call Debbie Matamoros at 310-850-9554.


Park City School District Board of Education hears solutions in wake of state audit

“Focus on the data outcomes, on the academic achievement outcomes, on the rankings that we have. The school board is happy with the direction of the district,” said Andrew Caplan, school board president. “We can always do a better job, especially with things that aren’t our core expertise like building and land management.”

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