Students from St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Waconia participated in St. Joe’s 11th annual service marathon on Friday, Nov. 1. This year they were also joined by several student volunteers from Holy Family Catholic High School in Victoria. Every year St. Joe’s students rake leaves and clean up yards for seniors and others in need in Waconia, Victoria and St. Bonifacius. This year, 23 yards were raked by the students.
“Our school is performing great academically and our students have the opportunity to grow deeper in their faith every day through classroom study and prayer. We love when we have the opportunity to live our faith through service to our local community,” said St. Joe’s principal Bruce Richards.
The students began the day with mass and pep rally. At around 9:30 a.m., parent volunteers and teachers loaded up vehicles with rakes, bags and students and spread throughout the local community in teams to help those who had contacted the school seeking assistance. Each group raked and cleaned up two or three yards.
“Our service marathon is lots of fun,” said St. Joe’s fifth grade student Caroline Kohls. “We get to help other people and when we finish the yards look really good.”
“Seeing these children working so hard to help clean up my yard is such a blessing. They do a great job and it’s great to see the students learning about helping others,” said Waconia resident Chris Yetzer.
After the students finished raking, they returned to school for a pizza party to celebrate their work.
“We are proud of our students and the teachers and staff are grateful for the opportunity to help them grow academically, socially and spiritually,” said Richards.
As part of the service project, students in grades 5-8 wrote essays about service. The winning Service Essays are:
• 1st Place: Carly Hilgers (7th grade)
• 2nd place: Kenneth Palattao (8th grade)
• 3rd Place: Emily Leonard and Haley Notermann
To read the winning essays, see the Nov. 7 Waconia Patriot.