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The day purple reigned

PIHS community turns purple to show support for peers
On+October+25%2C+the+Presque+Isle+student+section+flexes+their+purple+at+the+girls+varsity+quarterfinal.+%E2%80%9CIt+was+really+great+to+support+Rhiauna+and+the+Marstons+and+it+was+a+lot+of+fun+to+see+how+people+dressed+up%2C+Wyatt+Young+24+said.+I+liked+that+we+all+had+face+paint%2C+even+though+it+was+purple.+It+was+a+good+change+going+from+blue+to+purple.%E2%80%9D
Sydney Lavigne
On October 25, the Presque Isle student section flexes their purple at the girls varsity quarterfinal. “It was really great to support Rhiauna and the Marstons and it was a lot of fun to see how people dressed up,” Wyatt Young ’24 said. “I liked that we all had face paint, even though it was purple. It was a good change going from blue to purple.”

October 25, 2022: The day the Wildcats went purple. For many reasons on Tuesday, October 25, PI students traded in their navy and white and wore purple. “The purple means we are united, and I’m glad everyone chipped in because it shows how much we care,” Jaylee Howlet ’23 said. “To have everyone wear one color, and have it united meant a lot.”

Purple first became a main theme for PI pride on Tuesday to support a classmate.  When junior Rhiauna Davenport was diagnosed with a serious medical condition earlier in October, the students wanted to take action to show support.  The girls varsity soccer team, headed into a playoff on Tuesday, encouraged students to rally around Rhiauna after finding out her favorite color – purple. “I wanted to do something in support of a beloved PIHS student,” senior captain Lindsey Himes ’23 said. “We had a home playoff game, so we decided it would be a good idea to make the student section theme be Rhiauna’s favorite color in her honor.”

Max Graves ‘24 shows off his school pride at first pep rally since February 2020. (Marcie Young)

Tragically, the evening of that decision, Aaron Marston, father of two varsity girls soccer players, Taylor ’23 and Kacie ’25, passed away.  “I decided it would be meaningful to include the Marston girls in this, too, to show our love and support,” Himes said.  “My goal in the purple was to show our love to the people in our community who are suffering. I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring our community together in a tough time,” Himes said. 

The PI purple wave came into sharp focus when the student body gathered in the lower gym at the end of the day on Tuesday for the first pep rally since February 2020. “It was great to see everyone together and having fun and participating,” class president Amelia Donovan ’24 said. “The purple showed a lot of school spirit. Even the people who didn’t own purple went out and got some.”

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Students and teammates agreed the color purple on Tuesday came to symbolize community. “The passing of Aaron Marston has affected the community greatly. It made me realize that in times like these is when you need your community and teammates the most,” Cassidy Carlisle ’25 said. “The color purple has pulled everyone together to bring light to a situation that is so dark for many.”

In addition to the students wearing purple in honor of their classmates, Tuesday, October 25 was also a day students showed community support. Rotarians Jamie Guerrette and Trey Stewart paint students’ pinkies purple to help raise money for polio vaccines on behalf of the annual Purple Pinkie Project sponsored by the PI Rotary. “It was great to see the students and staff at PIHS support the effort to end polio around the world, and they showed out in force today,” said Maine State Senator Stewart. “We raised over one hundred dollars at this location alone.”
(Rhianna Desjardins)

This story was originally published on The Anchor on October 27, 2022.