For the past 15 years, the senior class has gone on a service-type mission trip to an out of town location. The Marquette seniors have gone to Mexico, New Orleans, LA, Atlanta, GA and Birmingham, AL and worked on many worthwhile service projects, including Habitat for Humanity.
This year, the Class of 2016 began a new tradition by focusing on how they could make a difference in our local community through the Alton-area Bucket Brigade, Alton Parks Department, and Riverbend Head Start.
The Bucket Brigade, co-sponsored by Pride, Inc., The Telegraph and Sherwin Williams has been painting homes for area residents since 1988. The program matches volunteer teams with homeowners who are no longer able to maintain their homes without assistance. In order to qualify for the program, homes must be one-story, owner occupied residences. Most of the homeowners that benefit from this program are seniors who simply cannot handle such a huge job alone. Other recipients are those with physical or financial limitations that prevent them from doing the work. Volunteer teams complete the painting at no cost to the homeowner.
Dale Neudecker, a Pride, Inc. Board member, created the Bucket Brigade project in 1988. That first year his volunteer teams painted 23 homes. Since then, the project has grown up to 50 volunteer teams annually and more than 1380 homes have been painted in River Bend communities.
The Class of 2016 worked for a week in April, scraping, cleaning, power washing and finally painting five different houses in the Alton-Godfrey area. Several seniors painted the bandstand at Riverview Park and the fences at Gordon Moore Park. They also helped spread mulch at Haskell Park and along Landmarks Blvd close to the Clark Bridge access. “We liked the idea of working close to home this year and giving back to our own communities, said senior Allison Hoefert. “We actually had a lot of fun and met some very nice homeowners.”
Five seniors volunteered throughout the week at Riverbend Head Start as teacher assistants. Their work included playing with the children as well as assisting with snacks and reading to them. The children at the center made an impression on the seniors and they didn’t want to leave the children at the end of the week.
In recognition of their efforts, Mayor Brant Walker issued a proclamation declaring May 16-20 “Marquette Catholic High School Class of 2016 Week”. Paula Mattix-Wand, Campus Minister at Marquette coordinated the event for the Marquette students. “These seniors did so much work in a short amount of time. We are so proud of what they accomplished. We are definitely excited about what can be accomplished next year!”