HOLLEY – Donning their best red, white and blue, and singing patriotic songs, Holley Elementary School students paraded to the Railway Depot Museum on Tuesday morning for the 59th Flag Day observance in the village.
The students gathered outside the Depot along with school and community leaders to sing and play music, bestow citizenship awards, and announce the winner of the “Chancellor of the Chapel” fundraiser/election.
Members of the Holley Central Elementary School Student Council announced the results of voting in the “mock political race” for the Chancellor of the Chapel. Gamma the Dog was declared the winner.
A total of $2,630.53 was raised during the year-long fundraising/community service effort which benefits restoration of the historic 1894 Medina Sandstone chapel at Hillside Cemetery.
Gamma the Dog was “elected” Chancellor of the Chapel. He accepted the Keys to the Chapel during the Flag Day ceremonies and looks as if he will take the responsibilities of his new position very seriously.
Melissa Ierlan accepts the whopping donation check from Chancellor Gamma. It will be used for restoration work at the Hillside Chapel.
Clarendon Historian Melissa Ierlan thanked participants for their efforts.
“The kids enjoyed it, it was a nice project for them,” Ierlan told Orleans Hub. “Most importantly, they got behind something and made a difference.”
The mock Chancellor election included four candidates: Samson the Dog, M&M the Goat, Scarlett the Hedgehog, and the winner, Gamma.
Ierlan said voting was tight between Samson and Gamma until the very end of the election. A last minute donation of $200 ($1 per vote) for Gamma as well as two other large donations – including one from the Holley Rotary in Gamma’s favor – put him way in front with about 900 votes. Samson came in second with approximately 500 votes, Ierlan said.
Chancellor Gamma looks lovingly at his owner, Alexander Zelent, who holds the key to the Chapel – the Medina Sandstone chapel at Hillside Cemetery, while Clarendon Historian Melissa Ierlan gives Chancellor Gamma a congratulatory embrace.
Holley Elementary Student Council Advisor Sally Martin said in addition to the Chancellor fundraiser/election, students sold geraniums, decorated chapel-shaped donation containers (created by former Holley art teacher Larry Dabney) for distribution throughout the community, and participated in a read-a-thon to raise this year’s funds.
“The support from the community was amazing,” she said.