Nichols Career Center students assembled Thursday at Jefferson City High School to present Operation Bugle Boy with funds raised for that organization and the Wreaths for Heroes program.
Nichols students collectively raised $1,455.84. Wreaths for Heroes is a separate program, but Operation Bugle Boy's President Chris Jarboe said the organization will give some money to that cause to pay to fly the family of Vietnam War veteran Don Hentges' friend who was killed in combat in Vietnam to OBB's Veterans Appreciation Night next year. Wreaths for Heroes will also use some money to help pay for a monument in honor of Coach Pete Adkins and his late wife Lorraine Adkins to be placed in Adkins Stadium.
Jarboe said the monument will be dedicated June 11 — what would have been Lorraine's 90th birthday. Lorraine started and championed Wreaths for Heroes, which places wreaths on the graves of veterans at Jefferson City National Cemetery. She passed away earlier this year.
Hentges now leads Wreaths for Heroes, is president of the Jefferson City Veterans Council and is vice president of Operation Bugle Boy.
He and Pete Adkins were present at the assemblies Thursday at JCHS to accept the money raised by students.
Nichols' welding students also presented another check to Wreaths for Heroes, worth an additional $1,000.
Nichols welding instructor Ken Thomas explained students sold 3-foot-tall Christmas decorations cut out of scrap metal donated by local businesses using the career center's automatic plasma cutter.
Student representatives of the classes that collected the least amounts faced harsh consequences: They were required to eat some exotic dishes prepared by Nichols' culinary students — pig face tacos with meat from snouts, tongues and cheeks; fried lamb, beef and pig testicles; and chocolate-covered "bugs" that were actually made of noodles because the bugs didn't arrive in time.
The morning mechatronics class raised the most — $244.69.
Thomas added welding students will also present $1,000 to the Cole County chapter of Toys for Tots on Monday.
SkillsUSA students at Nichols encouraged their peers to give as much as they could.
Volunteers who would like to help lay wreaths Saturday morning for Wreaths for Heroes are encouraged to be at the cemetery at 8:45 a.m. People who would like to load the wreaths at 728 Heisinger Road can do so at 8 a.m., especially if they have trucks and trailers.