by Cori Hilsgen
All Saints Academy students have surpassed their workathon fundraising goal of $19,000 so they will be duct-taping their administrator, Karl Terhaar, to the wall.
Terhaar said this will happen in the school dining room during lunch time, and students will be able to test the strength of duct tape to see how effective it really is. Students also enjoyed a Halloween party since met the fundraising goal.
Volunteers gathered on Oct. 25 for the 31st ASA annual Workathon fundraiser. After nut-free apple-cinnamon muffins, made by school cook Mary Kay Pelkey, were delivered to each job site location, the work began.
Michelle and Paul Funk and their children Annie, 7, and Lily, 5, along with the Funks’ nieces Alexis Clark, 8, and Isabelle Clark, 7, worked in their neighbor Mary Schneider’s yard. They were assisted by Nancy and Randy Schmitz and their children Lily, 7, and Sylvie, 4.
Schneider said she has requested assistance off and on throughout the years since the workathon first started.
“It’s great, especially when you have neighbors who do it for you,” Schneider said.
Schneider and the Funks have been neighbors for about 10 years.
“It’s just a nice way to help the community,” Michelle Funk said. “It teaches our kids values and respect for the elderly. Mary is a wonderful little lady and we love her.”
Schneider’s great-grandchildren Jonny Hendrickson, 12, and Jack Hendrickson, 5, also stopped to visit her and see if she needed additional assistance.
The theme song for this year’s workathon was Leaf Busters modeled after the Ghostbusters song.
“Leaf Man,” also known as Karl Terhaar, and his “Leaf Busters,” also known as ASA students, worked in 50-degree weather as they raked leaves, trimmed bushes, hauled leaves and branches away and did many other needed and requested chores at various locations around St. Joseph.
“Leaf Man” made surprise visits to various sites to offer words of encouragement to the many “Leaf Busters” and other volunteers who were helping with many jobs in the area.
He visited Kristi Zimmer and her son, Braden, 5, as they were raking leaves. This was the Zimmers’ first year helping with the Workathon.
“I enjoy giving back and the children are all excited to be helping,” Kristi said.
The annual service-oriented workathon fundraiser gives volunteers a chance to help with area needs as well as helps raise funds for the school.
“The great thing about (the) workathon is besides the expected fundraising other “athons” do, we also do a service for the community,” Terhaar said. “By providing this service for the community, students learn the value of giving back to your community.”
Chairperson Denise Klein said this year’s volunteers included 60 families, teachers and alumni who completed 26 jobs. Klein has been chairing the fundraiser for the past five years and wanted to extend a special thank-you to those people who helped accommodate the workathon volunteers when using the St. Joseph compost site.
“It’s one of my favorite days of the year,” Klein said. “Over 190 combined children and adults coming together to help those in the community while getting to know others in our ASA family. We combine experienced families with new families, preschool through sixth grade. I’m proud to be a part of it.”
To make a donation to the workathon, contact ASA at 320-363-7505, ext. 150.
photo by Cori Hilsgen
ASA workathon volunteers help with yard work at Mary Schneider’s house. Pictured are (front row, left to right) Isabelle Clark, 7; Sylvie Schmitz, 4; and Alexis Clark, 8; (back row) Lily Schmitz, 7; Annie Funk, 7′ and Lily Funk, 5.
photo by Cori Hilsgen
Leaf Man (All Saints Academy administrator Karl Terhaar) showed up at various job site locations to help encourage “Leaf Buster” volunteers while they worked. He is pictured here with Kristi Zimmer (left) and her son, Braden, 5.