Tonganoxie High provides assistance throughout area with annual Community Service Day

May 3, 2016

Tonganoxie High School students did their part helping out around town Thursday.

Whether it was tending to a flower garden, helping senior citizens with chores or serving breakfast to firefighters and police officers, THS students were lending hands.

Thursday was the annual Community Service Day.

Faculty served breakfast and then students headed out to their various tasks.

Pam Arevalo, who coordinates the community service day, said there’s always plenty of work that needs to be done each year.

“When this started eighth or nine years ago, a lot of kids would grumble,” Arevalo siad. “They didn’t want to get dirty and didn’t know why they had to do this.

“Nobody grumbles now. They look forward to it. They’re excited about it.”

She said football players worked on leveling the practice field, while other students helped master gardeners at Magnatech Park.

Other groups helped senior citizens with projects at Fall Creek Villas, Roxanne McCoy at Screaming Oaks Farm and Team Tongie with bake sales.

Those sales reached roughly $600 with a half-day of sales at both Tonganoxie First State Bank and Trust locations. That money was raised for Team Tongie.

Arevalo said community members donated several baked goods for those sales, which THS special education students operated on Community Service Day.

The THS baseball team served breakfast to Tonganoxie police officers and firefighters, while THS girls basketball team members assisted at a kitchen for those in need in the Kansas City area.

“One of the things that has always been a goal of ours is to incorporate service learning so kids can get out of their comfort zones and see how others live and give back in whatever community you live,” Arevalo said. “And your community isn’t just the radius of your school district. We extend our lives into Kansas City and Topeka and Leavenworth and Lawrence.”

There were a couple teams that conducted some downtown beautification in advance of the Tonganoxie Sesquicentennial in June, while two more groups went to VFW Park. Another group worked together to move donated dresses for Cinderella’s Closet to the high school. The dresses are available for students who might not be able to afford a new dress for prom and other school activities. Arevalo’s daughter, Haley, started Cinderella’s Closet, but she’s graduating this month from THS, so the dresses are moving to the school.

There also was some beautification done at Tonganoxie middle and high schools.

Arevalo said Leavenworth-Jefferson Electric Cooperative donated mulch for those projects.

“That generosity means so much,” Arevalo said.

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