12/25/05 — Youth Council wraps gifts

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Youth Council wraps gifts

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on December 25, 2005 2:07 AM

Janelle McCabe and her adviser Laterrie Ward wrapped a gift that wiggled last year at Berkeley Mall as part of their duties at the Mayor's Youth Council's gift-wrapping booth.

"We wrapped a dog," Janelle said. "We put it in the kennel and poked holes in the paper."

Armed with a few dozen rolls of decorative paper, a handful of scissors and plenty of tape, council members are using the booth to raise money for the group's activities and annual county scholarships.

Mrs. Ward, head of the Community Affairs Department, said donations help fund four scholarships of $500 each, which are awarded to students from across the county. Additional funds will go toward sending each member of the council to the State Youth Council's Spring Convention.

Chandela Elliott wrapped a massaging seat cushion in Santa Claus paper Thursday, hoping her attention to detail would merit a large donation for the council. Although the gift looked professionally done by the time she had finished, Chandela, 15, said she had received no tips or training.

"You just have to look and learn," she said.

Mrs. Ward said so far the council has raised more than $1,100. The wrapping stand, located just inside the mall's main entrance, will be open through Christmas Eve, she added.

More than 62 teens have volunteered their time to raise funds this Christmas. Whitney Conway was one of them.

"It's important that we came and volunteered our time," she said. "A lot of other kids are out getting into trouble."

Members of the Mayor's Youth Council are no strangers to community service and fundraising.

Whitney said the group also does work with Toys for Tots and the Community Soup Kitchen.