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SATURDAY SALUTE: Fighting hunger with Easter baskets

SATURDAY SALUTE: Fighting hunger with Easter baskets

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A hearty Saturday Salute goes this week to Project Hunger as it is conducting its 25th annual Easter Basket Extravaganza.

The nonprofit, which raises money to provide food for backpack programs at Grand Island Public Schools and Centura Public Schools, has about 250 baskets up for grabs in its auction that closes at 3 p.m. today.

Proceeds from the Easter Basket Extravaganza help stock the community food pantry. The effort also provides food to the Food Bucks Program, the Salvation Army kitchen, Hope Harbor, the Department of Health and Human Services Gap Program, Food for Thought, the Crossroads Rescue Mission and Project Hunger’s Gathering Table feeding program.

Food insecurity is a serious problem in the Grand Island area and its efforts by organizations such as Project Hunger that are making it possible for the people who are most at-risk of going hungry to have food in their cupboards.

If you’d like to take a look at the baskets, you can go to the old Deb store at Conestoga Mall.

But to bid on the baskets, you’ve got to visit yapauction.com.

‘Anything Goes’ at GICC

We also salute the large number of students at Grand Island Central Catholic who have been working so hard to make the school’s spring musical a possibility.

“Anything Goes” opened Friday and will be presented again at 7:30 p.m. today and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Howard Schumann Gymnasium at the school. Masks will be required to attend the musical.

The company totals 65 students, only six of whom have acted before. Some members of the cast and crew are athletes who are having their first experience in music.

This is an especially big accomplishment as the school has been dealing with pandemic-related safety issues throughout the school year. Last year’s musical was canceled because the school was closed due to the coronavirus.

Director Tyler Koepp calls “Anything Goes,” which was written in the 1930s, an “American classic.”

“It’s just really exciting for them to be part of such a great show, and such a fun show for their first experience,” Koepp said about the students who have been introduced to musical productions with this project.

For audiences, seeing a musical in person will be a chance to get back to a “little bit more of a normal American life,” he said.

Martinez’s story earns recognition

Another salute goes to Anne Martinez, a Grand Island Senior High junior who was a state finalist in poetry interpretation at the state Class A speech tournament, placing sixth overall with her piece titled “The American Experience.”

Martinez, 16, was the school’s first state finalist in speech since 2017, and the school’s first state finalist in an interpretation event since 2006.

The daughter of U.S. immigrants from Cuba, she read three poems and then spoke about her family’s background as she shared what she felt to be the messages of the poems.

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