The Eagle Greenery at Egg Harbor Township High School is welcoming spring Wednesday with a floral show and contest to raise money for the Hero Campaign.

About 30 students have created floral arrangements that will be on display in the common area from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Students, staff and visitors can purchase tickets for 50 cents each to vote for their favorites and get a chance to win the arrangement. The three entries that get the most votes will also win Wawa gift cards for their creators.

“But this isn’t about winning, it’s about giving back to the community,” said teacher Lori Butrus. The school supports the Hero Campaign, which promotes the use of designated drivers to reduce drunken-driving accidents.

Students spent Tuesday finishing up their arrangements. Themes reflect the students’ interests, including ninjas, sports and Spongebob along with more traditional floral arrangements. A student who plays football created an arrangement in memory of the four Mainland Regional High School students killed in a car crash in August 2011.

Timothy Elmer, 16, a junior, brought in an old tin teapot from home and used it as a base for a floral arrangement in purples and greens. The teapot lid made an distinctive decoration.

“My mom has a teapot collection,” he said.

Senior Michelle Snuffin, 19, chose a rainbow theme and included carnations, tulips, lilies, chrysanthemums and spider mums in all different colors arranged in a clear glass vase.

Butrus said she loves to see how students bring their personalities to their arrangements. The class is part of the school’s school-to-work program and a number of graduates have gone on to jobs with area florists and garden centers.

“I had a student who works at Fischer Flowers write me a letter saying she would never have known how much she liked flowers if she hadn’t taken this class,” Butrus said.

The flower shop is largely self-supporting, and in addition to in-school flower sales has contracted to do floral arrangements for private parties and area churches.

The program also includes the school store run by teacher Darcy Brown and bagel shop run by Sean Coyle. Aides Sue McGowan, Felicia Dull and and Carolyn Johnston assist students in mastering the math, writing and customer service skills they will need on a job.

“We tell them when you are working you can’t stop to talk to your friends when they come in,” Butrus said. “This is a business and a class. We want them to build a work ethic.”

Contact Diane D'Amico:

609-272-7241