"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and
silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."

Delivered in a speach to the Virginia Convention, June 16, 1788, by James Madison (1751-1836)
who served as the Fourth President of The United States, 1809-1817.
Vol. 20, No. 3 • Mailed monthly to over 12, 400 homes in the Gateway & Parkrose Communities Free • JULY 2004
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The Weatherfords (from left), Cathy, Emily and Jared, in front of the plaque displaying Shaver Elementary School Courage Award winners. The family created the award to honor eight-year-old Derrick Weatherford, who died in 1996 of a brain tumor.
Volunteer awarded at fete

14-year volunteer at Shaver Elementary in Argay Terrace honored with award at annual event she helped create


About 14 years ago, parents at Shaver Elementary School were looking for a fitting finish to the school year. They wanted an event that would allow for students and teachers to show what they had accomplished and be fun as well. The group brainstormed the possibilities. The idea of an old fashioned ice cream social appealed to them. With the help of donations from local businesses they were able to offer an affordable event for families and neighbors. Students eagerly prepared class projects for display, practiced special songs or skits to be performed and readied to welcome their parents and families into the school. On the night of the big event, parent volunteers were on hand to serve up ice cream sundaes and root beer floats.

As time went by, the Shaver Parent Faculty Association, or SPFA, recognized the need to bring the community as a whole together in a social setting. Cathy Weatherford, who has had four children pass through the school during that time, believes that the “local public school is the bedrock of any community. The strength of the community has to do with how involved you keep people in what’s going on in their local school. We’ve worked hard to build community here at Shaver.” Christy Hillman, SPFA President, says it was an important step to let people know their involvement was important and necessary, especially as the effects of Measure 5, passed in November 1990, became more and more apparent.

Tongs at the ready, Shaver Elementary alum and parent, Andy Johnson (left), prepares to serve hotdogs along with parent Jeanne Dill at the annual Ice Cream Social.
Howard Schmidt, Claudette O’Ree and Roberta Cates (from left), volunteers and Shaver Elementary parents try to keep up with folks waiting for sundaes at recent Ice Cream Social.
Under Hillman and Weatherford’s leadership, the Ice Cream Social has evolved over time to include raffles, a silent auction and hot dogs as well as the traditional sundaes and floats. When partygoers arrive, they buy two part script tickets. As they circulate around the schoolyard they use one half of the tickets to purchase food or drink items keeping the other half as their raffle ticket receipt. Frequently throughout the evening, tickets are drawn and prizes awarded. Students from the first through third grades provided entertainment at this year’s event. They were excited to be showcased at the last event of the school year.

The silent auction, in its second year, has become a favored event for students and parents. Each classroom selects a theme to be used in making a gift basket. They then gather items; many donated by area businesses, appropriate to their theme and display them artfully in a basket or bag. The approximate retail value is determined, along with a minimum opening bid. On Tuesday evening, June 15, these baskets, ranging in value from $50 to $500, were on display in the center playground surrounded by tables dispensing soft drinks, sundaes, floats, popcorn and hot dogs.

School support staff prepared one basket that garnered especially heavy bidding action. Dubbed the Bath and Body Basket, it held a certificate for a night at the Portland Marriott, including breakfast and massages, plus dinner at Acapulco’s and an assortment of lotions, candles, and music.

Hillman said SPFA realized $2200 from the auction of these baskets and netted about $3200 on the evening. The group uses these funds, plus others generated from a tulip sale at Easter, and the Fun Run in May to fund field trips and to purchase other items to benefit the school. In recent years, SPFA has replaced playground equipment on the north side of building and purchased a computer tower and laptop computers fulfilling a goal of bringing computers to the students.

At the conclusion of the evening, Weatherford was honored for her commitment and contributions to Shaver over the past 14 years. Always active in the SPFA and a familiar face in the halls and classrooms, Weatherford’s children learned from the example set by their mother and father Bob. Grant, now in his first year at Virginia Military Academy, designed and constructed new concrete curbing around the north playground equipment as an Eagle Scout project. Emily, graduating from Shaver this year and Jared, a student at Parkrose Middle School were on hand at the Ice Cream Social to help out where needed. Sadly, the family suffered the loss of son Derrick to a brain tumor when he was only eight years old. In his honor, a Courage Award given to Shaver students was created. Students are invited to write an essay describing what courage means to them. Four winners are selected each year, their names engraved on a plaque bearing Derrick’s photo. There is also a Magnolia tree planted in the school courtyard in Derrick’s memory.
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