March 19, 2011 in Washington Voices

Region’s youths honored

Chase awards recognize kids’ achievements
Lisa Leinberger, Lisal@Spokesman.Com, (509) 459-5449
Bart Rayniak photo

Theresa Hughes fourth-grade students at St. John Vianney Catholic School in Spokane Valley was awarded the Spirit of Jim Chase Award at the recent Chase Youth Awards Ceremony. Class members are, front row from left: Evan Gilbert, Vicki Joy, Aleena Whitmire, Jalaina Strand, Isaiah Gessner. Second row: Phaydra Williamson, Jaiden Venner, Hope Grenz, Jack Johnson, Callie Kawaguchi, Hayden Frohlich, Maegan Chandler and Alorah Strasburg. Back row: Ryan Roberts, Bradley Sauve, Maggie Bailey, Carson Ellis, Alison Olson, Rachel Steveson and Theresa Hughes.
(Full-size photo)

The annual Chase Youth Awards were presented Sunday evening, honoring achievements of youths in the community.

Here is a list of Spokane Valley winners.

Theresa Hughes’ fourth-grade class

The Spirit of Jim Chase youth award

Members of Theresa Hughes’ fourth grade class at St. John Vianney School won this award for their service to the residents of Sunshine Gardens, a nursing home in Spokane Valley.

Students hop on a bus every Friday afternoon to visit the residents, play games and activities and spend time with the seniors.

“The seniors really appreciate the time the children spend,” said a parent of one of the students in her nomination letter. “I have seen my own son just visiting and holding hands with one of this adopted ‘grandmas.’ It was obvious she was touched by his attention and that she enjoyed being around a child for a while.”

Barker Key Club

Community Involvement Award

The Key Club at Barker High School in the Central Valley School District was nominated by school Principal Kerri Ames. The group has only been together since the beginning of the school year, but they have impressed Ames by their progress in organization, community service and leadership.

The Key Club, sponsored by the Liberty Lake Kiwanis, has been involved in many community service activities this year, including creating the Council Closet. A room at the school has been designated to hold clothing, personal and small household items and more for a growing number of homeless students in the district. They also gathered 60 Thanksgiving dinners for families that ordinarily wouldn’t get one and worked with a local church in distributing the meals.

“Our Key Club has participated in numerous other projects,” Ames wrote, “and has a calendar full of upcoming events. I would like to applaud them in their community service as well as thank all of the community members who have worked side by side with our students.

Amanda Rehfeldt, Barker High School

Personal Achievement award

Amanda Rehfeldt is the president of Barker High School’s Key Club. She has spent the last several months of school participating in events designed for the school to give back to the community, including gathering items for the school’s Council Closet, which provides clothing and household items to homeless students in the district.

According to the nomination letter, Rehfeldt is a former a high school dropout. She was 16 when her mother became ill and she had to leave school to work. She was responsible for paying the bills, taking care of a house and taking care of her mother.

At one point, she moved out of the small apartment she shared with her mother to make room for a nurse. Rehfeldt slept on couches at her friends’ homes, but when she watched many of her friends graduate last June, she decided she needed to make a change. She talked to her mother and they moved to Spokane. They lived in a garage for two months before they found an apartment.

Now, she is still involved with the Key Club and earning all A’s and B’s in her classes. She is also taking independent study classes to get caught up, and still works 20 hours a week.

Marcy Prothero, University High School, and Cassie Kaplan, Central Valley High School

Leadership award, group

Marcy Prothero and Cassie Kaplan put together an awareness and fundraising campaign for fighting malaria through their church, Redeemer Lutheran in Spokane Valley.

They collected more than $6,800 by selling bracelets they and their friends made from mosquito netting. The funds went to the Lutheran Malaria Initiative.

“(I) have never seen two young ladies accomplish what these two did these past few months,” said Clay Nelson who nominated the two.

Courtney Ramsey and Sadie Perry, University High School

Spirit of Jim Chase Award

Courtney Ramsey and Sadie Perry, University High School graduates, put together a DVD and lesson plans targeted to middle school girls last year as part of their work with the Girl Scouts.

The program helps young girls with their body image and the two have received requests from high schools around the country with an interest in using it in their classrooms.

East Valley teachers’ union supports bond

The East Valley Education Association issued a proclamation last week, announcing its support of both the upcoming bond and the re-visioning process the district will see in coming months.

Con Mealey, association president, presented the school board with the proclamation during its meeting last week. It was signed by members of the organization.

The next East valley School Board meeting will be Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the administration building.

St. Mary’s Catholic School will host its 39th Annual Dinner and Auction on March 26 at the Mirabeau Park Hotel, 1100 N. Sullivan Road.

The event kicks off with a silent auction at 4:30 p.m., a formal dinner at 6 and a live auction at 7.

The evening will conclude with dancing.

This annual fundraiser raises 10 percent of the school’s annual budget.

On the auction block this year are two tickets to the television show, “Dancing with the Stars,” a signed basketball from the Gonzaga University men’s team, a Walla Walla wine-tasting weekend, tickets to Disneyland and other items.

Admission is $50 per person and table sponsorships are available.

For more information or to make reservations, call Terri Johnson, director of development, at (509) 924-4300 ext. 206.

Rapid Rabbit Run

East Valley High School will present its 27th Annual Rapid Rabbit Run today at 10 a.m.

The proceeds will benefit this year’s Senior All-Knighter graduation night event.

Register at 8:30 a.m. at the high school, 15711 E. Wellesley Ave. The cost is $15.

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