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The Bear Facts

Service above self

Students surprise sailors with special package

Interact Club members donated candy for sailors on board the USS Jacksonville.

Krislynn Tapley and Baylea Perry

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New to campus this year, the Interact Club is taking LCM’s small part of the world by storm. The organization, sponsored by nurse Jeannie Alexander and English teacher Jill Shugart, is an organization that takes on international and local service projects, giving students a chance to work with other students to serve the community and make a difference.

The Interact Club is currently putting its motto, “service above self,” into action by helping the U.S. Navy. The group, along with LCM and LCI staff members, gathered candy and gum for sailors as they are about to embark from Pearl Harbor on a seven-month nuclear submarine mission. The candy will be delivered to The Jax (USS Jacksonville), along with motivational letters written by Interact members.

Ragan Hennigan, son of LCMHS Special Education Coordinator Caroline Hennigan, is a sailor on the USS Jacksonville and said it gives him a warm feeling knowing the students thought of him and his fellow sailors.

“Working in such a secluded environment, the only items you can have are what you can pack in a small space,” Ragan said. “Candy often doesn’t fit. It’s as valuable as gold on board. Sometimes a piece of candy is the difference between a ‘good’ day and a ‘great’ day!”

It’s a wonderful thing.”

— Ragan Hennigan

A unique factor about this project is that instead of being shipped to The Jax, the candy has been transported to Hawaii by hand. Once the candy was packaged and ready to go, Interact members passed it on to Caroline Hennigan, who then met up with Chelsea Murty, whose brother-in-law, Justin, is the Engineer on The Jax. Murty delivered the package to the lake house of Denise and Michael Lange, Justin’s parents. From there, Justin’s wife Rochelle took the package with her back home to Hawaii.

The candy will be delivered to the USS Jacksonville this week and according to Ragan, being surprised with candy and notes from the students makes he and the other sailors feel important and appreciated.

“It’s a wonderful thing,” he said. “It’s nice to know that people so close to home notice us and care about us. In the Silent Service, I’m sure it’s easy to see that we often feel quite unsung in the grand scheme of things.”

Helping others is exactly what the Interact Club has done so far in its first year at LCM and according to senior historian Jaden Lewis, it is an organization that allows her to do the things she loves most.

“You get involved in many service projects and impact many lives while in the process,” she said. “I would recommend becoming involved with Interact Club for all students because serving the community is such an awesome thing.”

As for Ragan and the other sailors aboard The Jax, the candy donated by the Interact Club will impact them in more ways than one.

You make me proud to call South East Texas home.”

— Ragan Hennigan

“The sailors will gain more happiness than you might expect,” Ragan said. “As for the students, you will forever gain the thanks and respect of the USS Jacksonville (SSN 699) “The Bold One”! Thank you very much. You make me proud to call South East Texas home.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Service above self”

  1. Denise Lange on December 13th, 2016 7:36 pm

    What an awesome group of young adults! This Navy Mom thanks you!

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