Hopi High JROTC program helps Keams Canyon students receive Christmas gift

POLACCA, ARIZ. — Twenty-five students from Keams Canyon Elementary School received toys for the holidays, thanks to the Hopi High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) program.

Eight of the cadets delivered the toys to Keams Canyon Elementary School Dec. 15. They began the toy drive in mid-November with cadets, their families, teachers and local citizens donating toys.

Hopi High School Sgt. Joe Deleon, one of the instructors for the Hopi High JROTC program, said this time of year there are a lot of struggling families so the donations were great and the spirit of the cadets brought joy to the children.

The four cadets leading the toy drive were Battalion Commander Kyle Secakuku, Executive Officer Betty Dewakuku, Command Sgt. Major Aneyla Koyawena and Supply Officer Jonathan Jim.

Sgt. Deleon said the cadets have been doing the toy drive for the past five years.

“This year we didn’t get as many donations as past years, but every student selected got a toy,” he said.

Sgt. Deleon said the highlight of the event was watching Jonathan Jim walk out with a Santa Suit on.

“That brought smiles to the kid’s faces,” she said.

Sgt. Deleon said they can improve the food drive next year by getting the notices out earlier for toy donations and working with the local merchants for drop boxes.

“But our cadets did a great job,” he said.

The next event for Hopi High JROTC will be the Marcos De Niza skills event in mid-January.

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