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All Swimming - Boys Stories

Royal Oak seniors (from left) Zack Zatina, Ryan Noechel, Jacob Stankiewicz and Ben Clarke were a part of something special this past week, as their team participated in a toy drive while competing against Rochester. (For the Daily Tirbune/LIZ CARNEGIE)

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JIM EVANS: The Royal Oak swim team certainly has the right idea this holiday season

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Those blankety blanking high school kids.

They drive way too fast.

They blast their music way too loud.

That is if you call it music. Pitbull, Psy and Miley Cyrus are not exactly members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

High school kids are too self-absorbed. They are too rude. This country is swirling down the toilet bowl, and the water in the tank is about to run out.

So what are your plans for Christmas? If you were one of Coach Darrin Millar’s swimmers at Royal Oak High School, they included the team’s annual Toys for Tots meet.

That meet was held Thursday at Royal Oak High School. The Ravens competed against Rochester, and spectators who brought a new toy got in for free.

The Marine Corps Toys for Tots program is dedicated to helping needy kids have a merry Christmas.

Coach Paul Karris and his Rochester squad also participated.

“What was nice was Paul (Karris) told his kids and their parents,” said Millar. “It was a great night for everyone.”

Later in the season, the Ravens will host a breast cancer awareness meet.

“It’s more than swimming,” said the coach.

So you scrambled on Black Friday. The turkey and dressing was barely in your digestive track before you were throwing elbows and jockeying for position at Best Buy, Target, Meijer, Walmart, and who knows where else?

You did an end zone dance when you got your mitts on that PlayStation 4, didn’t you? How about that Apple iPhone 5S? Wasn’t that you whooping and hollering in aisle 6? Were you able to purchase a Despicable Me Minion?

Did your trigger finger get a little itchy in the minutes leading up to Cyber Monday?

Believe me, I am not judging. When our four kids were young, we had to nearly back up a U-Haul to our front door to bring in all of their gifts.

Now that we have grandkids, I envision the same kind of heavy lifting.

But true spirit of giving? Coach Millar has made sure his athletes know about that. He has been a coach in Royal Oak for 27 years.

It is more than the holiday season. It is not just in Royal Oak, either. The hockey teams from Romeo and Eisenhower high schools just played a game to benefit cancer research on Friday. Every year, numerous high school athletic teams and other student organizations raise money for special causes.

Students put nickels, dimes and quarters and dollars in jars. They hold raffles. They have baked sales. They bring toys to school.

Tis the season.

I drive to our son's house in Detroit and see areas where Santa hasn't climbed down the chimney in years.

I open the newspaper or read stories online that make me cringe. There are so many people in this country and in countries around the world who do not have life’s essentials, let alone a flat screen television with a screen the size of a football field.

So you think that high school kids are too loud.

So you think they talk too much in the movie theater.

Maybe they don’t hold the door open for you. Maybe they use language that would make 50 Cent cringe.

They are putting more than 50 cents into the Christmas jar at Royal Oak High School. They are doing likewise at a lot of high schools in Oakland and Macomb counties and beyond.

Tis the season folks.

Last Updated: 12/14/2013 2:54:14 AM EST

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