By MOLLY MONTAG
MARINE CITY- Most people think angels fly, but on Saturday morning
they arrived at Mariner's Cove Senior Apartments in two school
More than three dozen students, teachers and parent volunteers from
Marine City Middle School delivered 50 brightly-wrapped boxes laden
with a bevy of donated toiletries, cleaning items, blankets and
The residents were excited and surprised by the seemingly endless
stream of students lugging the heavy boxes into the complex.
"I delivered it to one lady and she almost passed out on the floor
she was so happy," said Jerrod Black, 16, of Marine City.
The students, calling themselves Oprah's Cove Angels, raised more
than $4,000 for the gifts in less than a week as part of a challenge
from talk-show host Oprah Winfrey.
Winfrey gave $1,000 to members of her 300-member audience at a
taping of The Oprah Winfrey Show, challenging them to use it to help
Marine City High School teacher Pat Biebuyck and St. Clair High
School teacher Dorothy Derrow attended the show.
Marine City High School students filled the boxes for seniors and
low-income families. Their St. Clair counterparts on Friday donated
$13,476 to 7-year-old Maddie Trudel, who suffers from a rare form of
Biebuyck was visibly moved when the buses pulled up to her house to
pick up the boxes.
Volunteers went classroom to classroom, spreading the word about the
project. Student contributions alone accounted for almost $1,000,
said Megan Tomasek, 16. Volunteers solicited other contributions
from local businesses, as well as their families and friends.
Ruth Posey, 80, was grateful for the gifts.
"I never expected anything like this," she said.
The students also presented $500 to Downriver Helping Hands and
delivered a carload of supplies to the local humane society.
Biebuyck will send footage of the projects back to producers early
next week. She and Derrow have been invited back to the show for a
taping on Nov. 21.
For many students, including 16-year-old Jamilee Lomerson, Oprah's
challenge was their first experience working on a large-scale
"I've always wanted to help people, but I just didn't know how to,"
said Jamilee, of Casco Township. "It gave me an opportunity to do
what I wanted."
Contact Molly Montag at (810) 989-6275 or firstname.lastname@example.org.