Volunteers gathered on a cool and sunny morning for the 29th annual St. Joseph Area Workathon held Oct 27.
Workathon volunteers raked and hauled away leaves, cleaned gardens and did other projects to help those who had requested help.
The workathon is a service-oriented fundraiser held annually. It gives students an opportunity to help with community needs and to raise funds for the All Saints Academy, formerly St. Joseph Lab School.
Several volunteers worked at the home of Jim and Mary Ann Graeve. They have been married for 55 years and have lived in their home for 49 years. The Graeves have been requesting help from workathon volunteers since the first year the workathon was held.
The Lance and Pam Nydeen and Eric and Kay Medelberg families volunteered at the Graeve home.
“It is a great time for the kids to meet the community,” Pam Nydeen said.
The Nydeens have three daughters Taylor, Reid and Jaedyn. Reid is a sixth-grader and Jaedyn a third-grader at ASA. Taylor is an eighth-grader at St. John’s Prep school.
The Medelbergs have a daughter, Abbey, who is a sixth-grader at ASA and is graduating this year.
The Graeves have a big yard, with lots of leaves, so St. John’s University students Phil Evans and Austin Pehrson also helped. Both are from the Twin Cities area and are education majors at the university.
Former workathon volunteer Sandy Pence made a special trip to the school to make a donation. Two students she knew received credit for her donation.
Sam Schneider, a sixth-grader at ASA, said he enjoys the workathon.
“I like helping other people – like older people,” Schneider said. Schneider’s mother, Joanne, teaches first grade at ASA.
Chairperson Denise Klein thanked everyone for all their efforts to make the workathon a success. Each group of volunteers brought a plate of muffins to their job site as a token of appreciation for letting them help them. The muffins were peanut-free muffins, since the school is a peanut-free environment, made by Mary Kay Pelkey, the school cook.
“Leaf Man,” also known as Karl Terhaar, ASA president, visited various job sites to encourage volunteers.
This year’s volunteers included 84 adults and 102 children who completed 40 jobs.
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people's stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.