A palate of Christmas colors shed light on the holiday sing-a-long with the Hawkes at North Main Street Elementary School.
Reindeer antlers, Santa hats and a palette of red, green and sparkly silver on holiday-themed clothes could be seen on students entering North Main Street Elementary School on the bright, crisp morning of Friday, Dec. 20. “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” played over the hum of student voices as they prepared for the last day of school before the holidays.
It was the day of the holiday sing-a-long with the Hawkes. The whole Hawke family was present, including their children, their spouses and a newborn grandchild, some of whom traveled all the way from Florida. The Hawkes gave enough holiday gifts to be distributed to each student at North Main Street School. The singalong is an annual event.
“The Hawke family has adopted the North Main Street student body,” William Hawke said.
William and Elaine Hawkes are owners of Hawkes Janitorial and WEHA, a gospel radio station. WEHA is a Stellar Award winner ( the highest honor in gospel music) for radio stations in the small market category.
Principal Teresa McGaney-Guy began the holiday extravaganza speaking over the joyful conversations filtering through the multipurpose room. She got their attention by saying, “Are we ready for the holiday? Let’s sing some songs and be happy and merry today!”
She called the yearbook and drama club students up to the stage. The students wore red and white striped pants, Christmas green holiday shirts and fashionable red velvet Santa hats trimmed in bright white fleece. They were ready and waiting patiently on stage for their role as holiday helpers to begin.
Mr. Clayton, the music teacher at North Main Street School, led the students in a sing-a-long of holiday tunes reminiscent of the days of Mitch Miller and his sing-a-longs updated through videos. The videos were kept rolling by Tim Kelly, the head elf of technology at North Main Street School, who could be seen wearing his Elf standard uniform of a red and white shirt saying “ Don’t Stop Believing,” with a picture of Santa on it and blue jeans. This outfit was topped off with an elf-eared cap of red and green. Videos of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Frosty the Snowman," "Twelve Days of Christmas" and "Feliz Navidad" were only a few of the song videos played. Teachers and students danced, cheered, clapped and sang to the holiday music.
The last song of the morning, "Jingle Bells," was introduced by Mr. Kavanagh, a fourth-grade teacher and renowned announcer at North Main Street School. A plethora of presents had been carefully wrapped and were waiting backstage ready to be distributed by the holiday elves. As "Jingle Bells" rang out over the crowd of students and teachers, the holiday helpers, the students in the dance club and yearbook club, poured through the opening in the auditorium curtains carry the bulging bag of gifts.
Teachers handed out the presents. Every student got a gift. Gathered in tight groups, students shook the boxes anxiously waiting. When everyone had a present, only then could they be opened. Kavanagh called out, "Get ready. Everyone stand up. Hold up your present. 1,2,3!” In an explosion of joyful cries, wrapping paper was carelessly tossed aside to reveal the treasures within. Art and science kits, games and more. Students clustered in groups excitedly telling their friends what gifts they received. The volume of voices and busy conversations left smiles on the faces of the teachers and the Hawke family.
Kavanagh, finishing up on his announcer duties, turned to his fourth-grade students and said, “This has become the biggest holiday. It is like a holiday movie come to life with a happy ending every year.”
William Hawkes thanked students and staff and wished everyone a safe and happy holiday.
McGaneyGuy closed out the festivities saying, “You did a great job today. Say thank you again to the Hawkes family.The relationship between the Hawkes family and North Main Street Elementary School has been a timeless one. Today has been a moment of pure joy.”