A project that started behind the idea of 2014 Neenah High School graduate Nick Munce and became a collaboration of students from seven local high schools was recognized on Feb. 24. The Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity held their Celebration of Partnership banquet at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton and honored the students for their Operation: Building Hope project.
The students from the seven area schools came together to build a Habitat for Humanity home in Kaukauna during 2014. Ryan Thomas, a 2014 Neenah graduate, received the award and spoke on behalf of the students. Included in the photo with Neenah principal Brian Wunderlich were Neenah students Thomas, Meggie DiPoto, Adelle Sturgell, Sam Galloway, and Celia Nalbach.
“We thought it would be incredible to do something big for our community” said Munce. “We wanted to do something to build unity between the high schools.”
In March 2014, the original group of students from Neenah High School approached Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat from Humanity with an idea to build a home for a family in need. The seven schools involved were Neenah, Appleton West, Appleton North, Appleton East, Kimberly, Kaukauna and St. Mary Central. Students from all of the schools raised the funds through a myriad of small fundraisers ranging from tournaments to movie nights to letter writing campaigns to raise a collective $75,000 to build the Habitat home to begin between mid-June and August. The students also provided the volunteer labor for the project.
“For the last four years we’ve competed against each other,” Thomas said. “This is our chance to build something together that we can point back to in years to come.”
This is the first time that a project of this scope involving as many students across the Fox Valley has been done. Work on the home was completed in August with the group dedicating the home just before heading off to their respective colleges.
Photo caption (from left): Meggie DiPoto, Adelle Sturgell, Celia Nalbach, Ryan Thomas, Sam Galloway and Neenah H.S. Principal Brian Wunderlich.