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New SkillsUSA advisor Cherie Thomas reorganized the chapter at Parsons (Kan.) High School last year, and to help her students look their best, she created a blazer bank.

“We purchased one jacket and one blazer with a grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation,” Thomas explains. “Students who raise a certain amount during a chapter fund-raiser may purchase their new jacket for half price. The chapter picks up the rest. So many of our members are low income; they just can’t afford to purchase a jacket. This program helps them out, and it helps the chapter, too.”

Students who participate agree to sell the jackets back to the chapter.

“We currently have enough blazers for our entire officer team in the stash,” Thomas adds. “We keep the jackets and blazers in a closet for checkout for events including state contests, the state awards ceremony and districts.

Top of PageHot welding helmets earn cold cash

Hot welding helmets earn cold cash Former SkillsUSA member Kevin Scott sees welding helmets as a perfect canvas for his artwork. A welding instructor for the Hobart Institute of Welding Technology in Troy, Ohio, Scott studied commercial art in high school and now air-brushes the headgear with his own designs, like the patriotic one pictured.

He’s also created clocks from helmets, and one recently brought in $75 at a charity auction. To order a helmet for a fund-raising raffle, auction or special gift, e-mail To view more designs, visit his Web site: end of story

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Spotlight on Oklahoma SkillsUSA

At a time when career and technical education faces budget and image challenges in many states, new Oklahoma governor Brad Henry put the spotlight on his state’s system. He invited four student officers from each of the career and technical student organizations in the state to host his inauguration.

Students witnessed the swearing-in ceremony and later were guest hosts at the inaugural ball, directing guests and answering questions. Pictured from left are Carl Wetzler, SkillsUSA’s national postsecondary president; Manuel Sanchez, Oklahoma SkillsUSA’s eastern region postsecondary representative; Matthew Tiner, national Region 4 vice president; and Brandon Danner, Oklahoma SkillsUSA president. end of story

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Houses for hounds

SkillsUSA construction trades students at Manchester (Ga.) High School are building houses for man’s best friend and raising funds for their own chapter, too.

Materials are purchased at a local building supplier whose staff sells the doghouses at the store and allows the chapter to keep all of the money. According to instructor Milton Bearden, the chapter sells 20 to 30 houses each year, and the prices range from $25 to $60 each. end of story

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SkillsUSA Champions | Spring 2003 | Volume 37, No. 3
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