The Force is with RSHS
by Lisa Tome
More than a decade after graduating from Rising Sun High School, Kyle Gainey returned to the school for the first time on Friday, May 4.
Gainey was back as a different person.
Gainey, who works at Amazon, is a volunteer with Maryland's branch of the worldwide charity, the Old Line Garrison. As part of the charity work, Gainey and others dress up in costume and turn out as a character to enhance local events or visit hospitals. Gainey was dressed as Star Wars character Kylo Ren for the RSHS May the 4th celebration.
"What got me into this is that it's a charity that gives back," said Gainey. Gainey, of Colora, has a neurological impairment that required numerous hospitalizations when he was a child. "This is a way to give back to the community. We get paid in high fives and smiles."
Star Wars Night was hosted by the high school's Library Advisory Committee. Events included an array of Star Wars themed board games, a photo booth, video games, snacks, Star Wars music performed by the school orchestra, movies, trivia and more.
Students were enthusiastic about the event. "My mother made me watch the first Star Wars and I'm definitely a fan. My favorite characters are BB8 and R2D2; they are the smart ones," said student Cayla Gramlich.
Harrison Howell was playing a Star Wars video game. "I've seen all of them. Even the holiday special. My family has watched it from when I was a young age. It's really fun," said Howell.
Eric Crouse said his love for all things Star Wars has helped him become a better reader. "I wasn't a good reader. I started getting all the Star Wars books and that has made me a better reader. Now Star Wars is my favorite," said Crouse.
Ethan Bishop said Star Wars helps unite people. "I've seen all the movies. It helps connect me with other people. I grew up with Star Wars," said Bishop.
"Star Wars is my childhood. We grew up playing the games. We had the posters, movies and toys. I'm part of the Library Advisory Committee. We've been having meetings and preparing for this for months. Without the help from the Student Council and other groups, this night wouldn't have been possible," said Katie Smiley.
Lexi Kozlaski-Gordon was an oddity among the Star Wars night attendees. She volunteered at the event. "I've never seen a Star Wars. I do feel out of place because I don't know about it. Kozlaski-Gordon was learning the characters by playing chess with her friend.
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