Grizzlies March Against Drugs

Photos by Blake Mortensen

The average American only takes 5,000 steps a day-but students were able to walk 500 miles as a school to take a stand against drugs.

On Monday, October 7th, the Payson Junior High Grizzlies showed their commitment to be drug free, bringing the end of Red Ribbon Week to a close. Over 1,000 students, faculty and staff completed a ½ mile walk, bringing our school total to 500 miles walked. Each homeroom class created a banner that showed their pledge to be drug free, and the PTA decided on 3 winners that were announced at the end of the assembly.

The end of the walk brought students to a mini-concert which showcased several performers. The program began with a group of students performing “Cups” (both singing and playing the cups!). The group included  8th graders: Kyrra Lundberg, Jolene Ballamis, Emily Miller, Megan Dixon, Mariah Webber, Rachel Holt (teacher), Shalice Bascom, Sabryne Kelly, Lily Wimmer, and Sarah Sullivan.

Next were two songs, “I Wanna Hold your Hand” and”Ho/Hey” were performed by a group of students. Haven Johansen,Owen Grimshaw, and Cody Carlisle were on vocals with Kenji Heimuli on guitar, and Austin Stevenson on drums.

The Latinos in Action club participated in a dance led by Justin Socetta performing his robotic dance moves for the crowd.

Jesse Sorenson, Vice Principal at PJHS, gave a principal’s message with the emphasis being make good choices and get involved in positive hobbies rather than doing drugs.

The program ended with two former PJHS students sharing their talents. Addy Elliot, now a Sophomore at Payson High,sang and played the piano to Rihanna’s “Stay” and “Carry On” by Fun. Finally, Heather Bolz performed “God Bless America,” an original piece, and “Ho/Hey” with crowd involvement.

Before walking inside, the winners of the Drug Free Banner contest were announced. Third place went to McKenzie Fairclough’s 7th grade English class, second place to Vanessa Gillie’s 8th grade English class, and first place went to Rachel Holt’s 7th grade English class. The grand prize included a treat from the PTA and the coveted Grizzly Spirit banner.

The whole Red Ribbon week was a great success, and the 500 mile walk was a hit as well! This is the second year that the walk has taken place and is the beginning of a wonderful tradition at our school. Way to be drug free, Grizzlies!