Night of Unity celebrates diversity
LINDA KOEHLER/TIMES NEWS Members of Pleasant Valley Elementary School's first grade students sing a captivating version of "Lean On Me" at PV's Night of Unity.
Several quotes from famous people were used in the program for Pleasant Valley School District's Night of Unity. One such quote was from Marianne Williamson, American writer and founder of the Peace Alliance: "In every community there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart there is the power to do it."
That sentiment was very much in evidence at Pleasant Valley School District's 12th Annual Night of Unity. The district's Diversity Club puts a lot of heart and work into this event, bringing the diverse cultures of the West End community together, in a sharing of their arts, cuisine and cultural backgrounds.
It was the first time that Zach Deegan and Marlon Gomez attended the event. Both juniors at PVHS, they were very impressed with what they saw.
"I came tonight because I wanted to meet a lot of different people," says Zach Deegan.
"I think it's very nice. You learn a lot about different cultures and you get to try some different foods," says Marlon Gomez.
Another quote was from Millard Fuller, American humanitarian, Founder of Habitat for Humanity: "For a community to be whole and healthy, it must be based on people's love and concern for each other."
The PV High School gymnasium was filled with displays from several community organizations and clubs that strive to bring love and concern for each other through their efforts to help their fellow man.
The Diversity Club served foods from diverse cultures and song, music and dances were performed.
Darion Porter, a PVHS senior says he joined the Diversity Club to raise awareness.
"I wanted to get more involved with the different cultures in my school and to work in bringing them together," he says.
This quote is from Carlos Santana, American musician: "The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace."
That is what the Night of Unity performers were ... instruments of peace through their song and dance.
The PVMS chorus students sang the national anthem, PVE first graders sang "This Land is My Land" and "Lean On Me." The Pocono Highland Dancers, McElligott School of Irish Dance and Dirk Spit playing the bagpipes provided Irish and Scottish dance and music. The West End Academy of Dance and the PVHip Hop Dance Team entertained everyone with their energetic performances. The Wolf Clan Dancers provided a glimpse into Native American dances.
In a quote from Robert Fulghum, American author, he says: "Peace is not something you wish for; it's something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away."
The good works that a community does for its members in need, goes a long way in building that peace.
Visitors to the Night of Unity were asked to bring a nonperishable food item for Pleasant Valley Ecumenical Network (PVEN.) These items were added to all the food items the PVHS Key Club and PVMS Builders Club collected from the district's schools: Polk Elementary collected 797; PVE collected 1,140; PVI collected 952; PVMS collected 600; and PVHS collected 200.
Pleasant Valley School District's Night of Unity is held each year in order to celebrate its community's diversity and to encourage each and everyone to reach out and give help where ever it is needed and to whomever is in need.