Service club donates washer, dryer to KHS for students in need

By: 
Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

Kalkaska's Academea Club used funds raised through its annual silent auction to gift the Kalkaska High School with a new washer and dryer for student use. Kalkaska Public Schools Superintendent Terry Starr and KHS Principal Chuck Sorentino recently gathered for a photo with members of the Academea Club to receive additional gifts of laundry items. Pictured (from left) are: Sharon Stockford, Sorentino, Andi Wagenschutz, Lauren Clark, Emily Richardson, Deborah Newell, Janet Sieting, Marta Prieto-Seijas, Karen Anderson-Davis, Val Thornburg, Starr and Patti Jacobs.

KALKASKA – The Kalkaska Chapter of the Academea Club recently teamed up with officials to not only help students in need look better, but to also feel better about themselves.

According to local AC president Valerie Thornburg, the story started with the club holding a very successful silent auction fundraiser in late October.

“The group wanted to think about how we could reach the most in our community,” Thornburg said. “I remembered seeing a story on Facebook about an inner city school in New Jersey having issues with students not coming to school because they were being bullied for wearing the same clothes, dirty clothes or having hygiene issues.”

As the story goes, the principal of West Side High School in New Jersey researched what was behind the school’s attendance problem. Part of the issue is some students were being harassed due to their clothes.

“They got a grant and turned a football locker room into a laundry room,” Thornburg said. “They set up shelving for laundry donations and made it all free for the students to come in discretely and wash their clothes.”

Members of the local AC chapter quickly got behind the idea, hoping to touch the lives of as many students as possible.

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