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JROTC cadets show appreciation in special way

North Gaston JROTC cadets show their appreciation in a special way

Each year, the North Gaston High School JROTC cadets reach out to the community to conduct a service learning project.  However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the cadets have not been allowed to gather in large groups.

So, the cadets decided to write thoughtful messages on 100 cards for employees who have been working in the vaccination clinic at CaroMont Regional Medical Center. 

“We had to think outside of the box,” said JROTC teacher Lt. Col. Dwayne Smith, who was impressed with the organization and efficiency of the clinic when he received his vaccination.  “We wanted to say thank you, and we wanted the cadets to experience what it means to give back to the community.”

For cadet Taylor Ellis, the healthcare employees had a profound effect on her.

“Now that my family is vaccinated, my grandparents can come to my graduation,” said Ellis. “They can come to my house afterward, and we can celebrate as a family again.”

Joining Ellis and Smith on April 21 to hand deliver the cards to CaroMont Health employees were Master Sgt. Aaron Lynch and North Gaston principal George Conner.

According to Kimberly Sain, senior director for public affairs at CaroMont Health, the vaccination clinic personnel appreciated the generosity and kindness shown by the students.  She also acknowledged the students’ outstanding commitment to service and leadership.

In addition to the thank-you cards, the JROTC program provided lunch to clinic employees, paying for the meal with money raised through various fundraisers.

North Gaston is home to the Gaston County Schools Leadership Academy for high school students.  According to principal Conner, JROTC is one program at the school that gives students an opportunity to be involved in leadership activities.  He is proud of the cadets’ community outreach and their timely efforts to show appreciation for healthcare workers, who have been on the frontlines during the pandemic.