Third annual ‘Catholic Kids for a Cause’ held in Jefferson Print
Written by Margie Schels, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Apr. 25, 2019 -- 12:00 AM

Jefferson Kids for a Cause
Eighth graders at St. John the Baptist School in Jefferson are pictured with Addie Houston, fifth from left, who has been battling leukemia. The students organized a fundraiser for Addie. (Contributed photo)

JEFFERSON -- The Catholic community of St. John the Baptist (SJB) School and St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Jefferson recently gathered to participate in a fundraising event for the family of Addie Houston, a fifth grader at East Elementary School and great-niece of St. John's principal, Bill Bare.

As news of Addie's battle against leukemia reached the school and parish community, there were many inquiries as to how to best help and support the family.

In the meantime, the Student Parent Activity Committee (SPAC) of St. John the Baptist School presented the school's eighth graders with the opportunity to organize a fundraiser under the mission of "Catholic Kids for a Cause".

This was the third year in which the eighth grade class supported an individual or family in need. This special project was also a good way for the students to carry out a "work of mercy" during the season of Lent.

With the help and guidance of SPAC members Ashley Weisensel, Michele Brusk, and Melissa Gotto, the eighth graders began planning the fundraiser in January, having chosen the theme, "Awareness for Addie," and setting a timeline in preparation for the event.

The eighth graders approached area businesses, requesting donations for a silent auction. Students also designed the T-shirts for the event and organized the activities for the fundraiser, including: basketball games played by fifth through eighth graders; Silent Auction; Candy Guess; Chuck-a-Duck for prizes; Cake Walk; and 50-50 Raffle.

Parents of eighth graders helped with every aspect of the fundraiser, including the concession stand.

The event began with a welcome for all and prayers for Addie and her family. The rest of the morning was a bustle of activity with basketball games and other events located throughout the school.

The fundraiser concluded with expressions of thanks from the Houston/Bare family, members of the St. John the Baptist School SPAC, and the eighth graders: Kindyl Kilar, Gareth Whitstone, Cheyenne Johnson, Austin Gotto, Kena Eighmy, Rachel Wittig, Bradley Ferguson, Cayden Topel, Jazmin Ramirez, Kieran O'Reilly, Andrew Strasburg, Lauryn Ganser, and Genesis Lentz.

A formal presentation and blessing were to take place in April whereby the Houston family will receive the proceeds from the fundraiser to help defray medical costs for Addie.

The family will also receive a special photo album as a memento of "Catholic Kids for a Cause: Awareness for Addie".


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