Christmas tree

Brooke Preston, Kallie Beltrami, Sami Rabin and Connor Dotzler, far right, decorated the Christmas tree for Willinda and Peter McCrea.

When a local couple needed help decorating their Christmas tree, a group of St. Helena High School students showed up with strong backs, holiday cheer, and a happy willingness to help.

Kallie Beltrami, Connor Dotzler, Brooke Preston and Sami Rabin spent two hours on Saturday decorating a Christmas tree at the home of Peter and Willinda McCrea.

“They were just the most terrific kids,” Peter McCrea said. “They had music playing on their iPhone and were singing Christmas carols. They seemed to be having a really good time.”

Peter has a bad back that’s not up to the task of stringing Christmas lights, so he called St. Helena High School. Principal Ben Scinto put him in touch with Monica Dennington’s Leadership class, where 15 students volunteered to help. That would have been a little much for one tree, but four turned out to be just right.

The tree was already set up when they got there on Saturday, but it was still bare.

“When we got there they showed us where all the lights and ornaments were and gave us some direction on how they wanted it decorated,” Beltrami said. “They were really sweet. They made us cookies.”

“We got to play our Christmas music, hang out and get into the Christmas spirit,” Preston said. “It shows a lot about our community that they were able to reach out to our school and get some help,”

“It was really nice to be able to relax before finals,” Dotzler added.

Rabin said Christmas is all about family, giving and togetherness, so it’s only natural to want to help others.

Beltrami, Dotzler and Preston are all juniors and are open to decorating more trees next year. Dotzler is a senior, “but I’ll come back,” he said.

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St. Helena Reporter

Jesse has been a reporter for the St. Helena Star since 2006.