PARK RIDGE, Ill., Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Maine South Hawkettes were recently awarded the 2012 American School Spirit Award from the UDA. The award recognizes the top all-around dance program in the country that exemplifies community service, outstanding school athletic support, spirit raising activities, academics and dance team ability. This is the first time that an Illinois high school team has ever won this prestigious award.
"I am so proud of both our varsity and junior varsity dancers," said Jackie Graney, head coach of the Maine South High School Hawkettes. "The UDA American School Spirit Award is a highly coveted award that is not lightly given. The selection involves a very rigorous process and is given to a team who not only gives back to their community, but also demonstrates leadership in academics and extracurricular school activities."
The Maine South High School Hawkettes not only have maintained a 3.7 group grade point average, but 14 of its members have been selected "Student of the Month" with many more involved in advanced academic and honor courses. In addition to academic achievements, the Maine South Hawkettes gave back to their community and school in the following ways:
- Personally packed more than 13,000 meals for the "Feed My Starving Children" organization;
- Devoted a significant amount of time through various projects that help children afflicted with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), participated in the "Walk and Roll" event this year that raised money to help fight SMA and helped parents with children afflicted with SMA attend the organization's annual conference;
- Performed at the 911 Hopefest in remembrance of those who died in the 911 terrorist attacks;
- Volunteered at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's FAM JAM in Park Ridge, helping to raise monies to fight these diseases, as well as at the Marillac House in Chicago, providing a variety of services to families, children and teens who may need help;
- Brought special awareness to the student body of Breast Cancer Awareness during the month of October through a special performance;
- Participated with the band to celebrate the achievements of students involved with the school's fine arts programs; and
- Performed at football and basketball games throughout the year and helped organize numerous homecoming festivities.
The Hawkettes honor will be highlighted on an ESPN segment in March at the UDA Nationals Competition in Orlando, Florida as well as a segment on Varsity TV. In addition, Park Ridge Mayor David Schmidt will honor the Hawkettes at the January 21, 2013 Park Ridge City Council meeting. Additional details on the Hawkettes' award can be found on the UDA website, http://uda.varsity.com/assacountdown.aspx.
CONTACT: Colleen Tunney-Ryan, 847-698-5053
SOURCE Universal Dance Association