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Learning social responsibility

A valuable lesson in social responsibility was learned by St. Henry's Area School students, who donated more than $1,400 to charity.

The entire student body of nearly 100 gathered Oct. 10 for a ceremony and presentation of checks to five different charities.

The money was raised through a unique project. Woodworker John Kratzke created 60 "Adirondack" chairs for the school, which observed its 125th anniversary last summer.

Parents and families painted and designed each one of the chairs--which were then auctioned off.

Parents were amazed with the success. The auction brought in $18,600--three times expectations.

In a brief message to the school children, Kratzke commended them for "giving back to the community."

"We always need to remember that there are people who have it worse than we do," said Kratzke. "There are children who wonder what they're going to eat, and whether they have clothes to wear--not what video game to buy...We need to remember others who have it tougher than we do."

The following is a list of charities that the 2007-2008 students chose to donate their money to:

---Crisis Pregnancy Center-Wadena

---Perham Public Library

---Perham Food Shelf

---Smile Train

---Giving Tree

---Coffee with Creed Youth Group

Representatives from these organizations were on hand at the ceremony to receive the donation checks.

In addition to those selected charities, the Adirondack chair project raised $9,000 for a new roof on the school; $5,000 for more playground equipment; and $1,300 for the scholarship fund, which is awarded to graduates of St. Henry's school.