Surprise donations of $1,000 fell into the coffers of Cedar Key School’s FFA program at their banquet on May 26.
A year of hard work ended in a celebration of students, teachers, families and friends as the school's cafeteria and auditorium was filled with great food and roaring applause.
This year has been a particularly successful one for the chapter mentored by teacher, Denny Voyles. The students and Voyles have practiced for hours and days and the payoff was recognition on a state level of their talents.
After enjoying a dinner of fried grouper and steamed clams, the group moved to the auditorium. Ribbons and other prizes were handed out to the students and teams who have placed during the past year in competitions. The walls around the stage were decorated with giant awards representing their wins.
The statewide first place win in aquaculture went to the team of Ridley Reynolds, Nathanial Brinkman, Ariel Alexander and Kit Riley. The Cedar Key Aquaculture Association, represented by Christopher Reynolds, Mike Smith, Rose Cantwell and Sue Colson, presented the FFA with a check for $500 to help offset costs incurred by the FFA.
This was a welcome surprise to the FFA, but not the last as Christopher Reynolds presented an additional $500 on behalf of his company, Cedar Shoals and the Reynolds family.
The funniest moment of the evening was when Chapter Vice President Lauren Bartholemy and President Taryn Epperson presented Voyles with a pen — approximately three feet long — that actually worked. Apparently, Voyles is notorious for losing pens around his cluttered desk and blaming Epperson for taking them. The officers said they hope that will be a thing of the past.
Fourteen students are members of the Senior Chapter and about 40 are members of the Junior Chapter. The officers run formal meetings with emphasis on parliamentary procedure and helping the students become comfortable with public speaking and presentations. Additionally, they learn fun and useful skills, such as raising and showing a hog, consumer and horticultural practices.