What is lent anyway?

By Cayla Destefani

Just last Wednesday (2/18/15) Christian churches all over the world celebrated Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. I’ll bet some people just went into panic reading that and thought, “No way! Is it Lent already? Does that mean I need to give something up?” Although many people use this Lenten season to try to actually complete their New Year Resolution of losing 10 pounds, giving up something for Lent actually has a lot more significance than just stopping a bad habit for 40 days only to pick it up again at Easter. There are actually 3 pillars of Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving (Kale). Doing all of these brings Christians closer to God during the 40 days that precede Easter Sunday, and giving up a small pleasure is simply another way for them to sacrifice a small part of their life to focus more on God and the ultimate sacrifice that he made through his Son, Jesus Christ, on the cross.

The whole point of Lent is to purify the soul, simplify the life, focus more on God, and prepare overall for the resurrection of Christ. The forty days of Lent are based on the forty days Jesus spent fasting in the desert before he began his public ministry (Matthew 4:2, Saunders). There is actually no mention of Lent in the Bible, but it does mention the act of repentance and mourning over ashes (Fairchild). Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday.

Although many Christians do practice it no matter their denomination, according to Wikipedia the main denominations that acknowledge Lent are Methodist, Lutheran, Anglican, Calvinist, and Roman Catholics (“Lent”).

During Lent it is practice to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday with only one meal and small snacks, then abstain from meat every other Friday in Lent, but fish is ok (Fairchild). Also, Catholics abstain from singing Alleluia during the Lenten season. This is because Alleluia traditionally means “Praise Yahweh” and is used as a celebration of the kingdom of God. But Lent is about preparing for the kingdom coming, not the kingdom having come (Richert). Some churches also make it a practice to empty the baptismal font during Lent to signify thirst and dryness. Also practiced during Lent is the praying of the Stations of the Cross, the 14 phases that Jesus went through during his Passion and Resurrection.


Fairchild, Mary. “What Is Lent and the Lenten Season in Christianity?” About Religion. About.com, 2015. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.

Kale, Neela. “Why Do We Give up Something for Lent?” BustedHalo RSS. The Paulists, 2015. Web. 24 Feb. 2015.

“Lent.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 24 Feb. 2015. Web. 23 Feb. 2015.

Richert, Scott P. “Why Roman Catholics Don’t Sing the Alleluia During Lent.” About Religion. About.com, 2015. Web. 24 Feb. 2015.

Saunders, Willim P., Fr. “History of Lent.” History of Lent. Catholic Education Resource Center, 2002. Web. 24 Feb. 2015.


Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools Spread the Love

by Meghna Kumar

This Valentine’s Day Bellbrook students spread the Valentine’s spirit around the community. Students and teachers at Bell Creek Intermediate conducted a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. The students and faculty raised $10,455.01 overall, surpassing last year’s donation total. All fundraised money will go to the prevention of heart disease and stroke.

Thirty-two BCI students were also selected as 2015 Jump Rope for Heart Poster Design Contest Finalists. BCI staff will choose the top 3 and one school winner who will be given the opportunity to advance to the National Competition held at the end of February.

Bellbrook Key Club ran its own service projects this month. Throughout the week leading up to February 14, they decorated Valentine’s Cards for the senior center. Overall, they created over 60 cards and on Thursday, distributed the cards to the seniors on their game night.

“I was glad I got to do it,” junior Brooke Tavernier explained. “It was a great and fun opportunity to help my community and to make some good people smile.”

Key Club also organized a Hershey’s kisses fundraiser. They allowed students to purchase Hershey’s kisses and attach a note to send to anyone in Bellbrook High School, including faculty. The Key Club members then delivered the cards as a Valentine’s surprise. All profits will go to the Byimana School of Sciences, a secondary school for low-income students in Rwanda. Bellbrook Key Club has donated to them in the past and were able to fund a self-sustaining farm named after Bellbrook next to the school. This year, the Key Club officers hope to leave another lasting impact on the Rwandan school.


Patriots: XLIV Champs

By: Harmony Takhar

Every sport has a championship game to determine the superior team/player of the season. In football, as I’m sure you all are aware of, it’s the Super Bowl. Super Bowl XLIV took place February 1, with the matchup of Patriots vs Seahawks. Who came out on top? The New England Patriots. Their past season was extraordinary with quarterback Tom Brady leading to a 12 win and 4 loss season, landing them the opportunity for Super Bowl XLIV, opposing Seattle Seahawks champions of Super Bowl XLIII.

In the beginning, the Patriots lost the coin toss, and for a while in the game, their chances weren’t looking so good. The first quarter: 0-0, second quarter: 14-14, third quarter: 24-14 Seahawks lead, and fourth quarter: 28-24 Patriots lead. In the last quarter with 2 minutes left the Seahawks almost pulled back on top. With 30 seconds left, they even reached the field goal line. Then Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson passed twice at the field goal line when he could have easily pushed through the Patriots’ defense and scored. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, the Patriots intercepted the second pass and all hopes were lost.

Then in the final seconds of the game, as the Patriots tried to get the ball out of the field goal area for a possibility of another interception by the Seahawks, who are well-known for interceptions, the players picked fights with players of the opposing team.

The Patriots stopped the Seahawks from winning the Super Bowl by two consecutive yards. Patriots brought home the trophy and many adoring fans could not have been happier. Brady even received the latest, newest red Chevrolet.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Features “Plus-Sized” Models

by Bridget Richard

The 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue was released Tuesday, February 11, and turned heads, and not just in the conventional way that the annual publication usually does.

This year, the magazine featured two plus size models. Ashley Graham, who is featured in a Swimsuits For All advertisement, and Robyn Lawley, who is published in the magazine as an “SI Rookie,” are the first plus-sized women to be picked by Sports Illustrated itself.

The Slate gives a brief history of the Swimsuit Issue, which began in 1964 as a way to make up for the lack of interesting sports events to cover in the winter months. What started off as 5 pages became a full spread in 1997.

But even though the magazine has shifted through the years, with these plus-sized models as a landmark, many Bellbrook students think that the title “plus” is not just. Two BHS students were shown photos of the models and asked for comment.

Junior Rachel Birri commented on the effects of the title, saying, “The thing is, when you have models who are that thin who are called ‘plus-sized,’ girls who are that thin see themselves as ‘plus-sized.’ She’s beautiful, but not ‘plus-sized.’ It looks like she would fit most normal clothing.”

And when asked about the second Swimsuits For All photo, she said, “This looks more like the average female… I didn’t even notice the man in the back.”

Junior Cameron Sloan had similar ideas, saying that Robyn Lawley was “definitely not ‘plus-sized'” and that, “Girls shouldn’t be labeled as ‘plus-sized.’ If a girl looks good, she looks good.”

Is Lebron James Feuding with Kevin Love?

By Maria Gerbic

Seems like LeBron James and Kevin Love get along.  (USATSI)

Lebron James’s tweet from Saturday night, February 7, prior to Cleveland’s 120-105 victory over the Lakers, has stirred quite the controversy over teammates and media alike, who claimed that it targeted James’s teammate, Kevin Love.  James originally denied that the tweet, which said, “Stop trying to find a way to FIT-OUT and just FIT-IN. Be apart [sic] of something special! Just my thoughts,” was about Love, although later, James admitted that it was intentional.

Love, who was traded to Cleveland by the Minnesota Timberwolves in August 2014, has had an up and down season, and his 5 point game against the Pacers Friday night marked a low point in his career. Love voiced his disappointment after the game, telling Cleveland.com that, “It’s one of the toughest situations I’ve had to deal with.” The game was the only loss the Cavs had in 13 games, and afterwards James took to social media. His words “FIT-OUT and FIT-IN” were recognized by the media as Love’s words from the preseason, when he discussed his trade to Cleveland with ESPN: “I’m comfortable and just not trying to, I guess, fit in so much.”

After the Cavs’ Sunday night victory and Kevin Love’s season high of 32 points on 11-of-18 shooting over the LA Lakers, reporters interviewed James and he addressed the rumors. According to CBS, James initially denied that the tweet was about Love, and claimed that the tweet was just an observation about people in general.  Later, when the cameras were down, he admitted to a small group of reporters that, “It’s [the tweet] not a coincidence, man.”

While James has an opinion on Love’s attitude, on the court James continues to push Love to become a better scorer as well as improve his defense, so he can perform just as well as James and other Cavs’ top player, Kyrie Irving.

Changes to Vicious Dog Laws

By: Rachel Heinz

State Senator Bill Beagle is attempting to create new legislation regarding vicious dogs. Sen. Beagle has been serving as state senator for the 5th District of Ohio since 2011. This is his second attempt at adjusting fines and the amount of time before a felon can own a dangerous dog. Current laws state that even if a dog kills someone, the owners cannot be charged with a felony. Beagle is trying to get dog owners to take more ownership for their animals

Sen. Beagle is trying again at creating this legislation a year after the mauling death of a woman in Dayton. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Klonda Richey, 57, died last February by mixed-mastiffs in front of her home. With anonymous complaints from the community regarding the dogs, the attack did not come as a surprise for many. Richey tried protecting herself and her cats by building a fence along with setting up surveillance cameras around her home. This came after Richey filed for a stalking protection order against her neighbor who she said had threatened her cats and allowed the dogs to chase her. Her request was denied.

Sen. Beagle states, “I don’t want to see another Klonda Richey before we get changes.” One of Sen. Beagle’s proposals is to create a database for law enforcement to be able to locate the vicious dogs in the area as well as potentially requiring signage such as “Watch out – dangerous dog” placed outside of homes. He is also hoping to extend the amount of time before a felon can obtain a vicious dog from three to five years.

According to WDTN, Sen. Beagle says that these are just ideas and that the first step to making our community safer will be on creating higher penalties for owners of vicious dogs.

24 Years of Caring

By Henry Wong

The Bellbrook Key Club supports a myriad of organizations, one of them being The Caring Place in Xenia. It was first started 24 years ago by Pastor Tom Batterman and Barb Swinehart. Every Thursday from 6 to 7 pm, the organization serves anywhere between 100 to 200 free dinners to anyone who comes. Their goal is to provide a hot meal to those in need at least once a week.

Meals take place at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church on 287 W. Main Street in Xenia and volunteers are always welcome. Alongside its mission to feed those who are less fortunate, The Caring Place also strives to help senior citizens in the community.

Those who come with empty stomachs aren’t the only ones who leave feeling refreshed. Sophomore Evan Hyman, an active member of the Bellbrook Key Club, said the organization helped him realize how much he really has and the struggles some people face to get a hot meal. Additionally, he said, “I enjoyed meeting the families we served the meals to and also the people from the church who we worked with.” Senior Betty Hociota, the current president of the Bellbrook Key Club, says she loves everything about the organization. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a person there not smiling,” she says. It is comforting to know that as long as there is a need, The Caring Place will always venture to help those who are less fortunate.