Huskie Stories of Service
The Sesquicentennial Challenge is an effort to log 150,000 hours of service from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024. Whether you're a current student, employee, alumni, retiree, parent, or an OPRF supporter, this is an opportunity for Huskies everywhere to demonstrate our impact on the world through a magnificent milestone of community service.
Whatever cause you serve--animal rescue, food pantry, museum, scouts, volunteer board, and so forth--please fill out this form to help us track and report on your accomplishments. Here are just a few stories from Huskies who've joined the challenge!
"I really enjoy volunteering and giving back to the community. It started when my family moved onto the LemonAid block in River Forest. I saw the impact that giving back had on organizations in our community. I really enjoy contributing to that event every year, and it made me want to do more. So I try to volunteer at least two hours a week at Beyond Hunger. I really enjoy helping people in our community in whatever way I can!"
—Amelia Hunkele, Class of 2024
"I volunteered at Appalachia Service Project in Kentucky in the summer. We helped to repair houses in eastern Kentucky, particularly those affected by the floods in 2022. It means a lot to me to be able to help all the people I’ve met in the area over the last two years, and I plan on going back."
—Caroline Glinke, Class of 2025
"As the founding principal (now retired) of the New York Harbor School on Governors Island, off the tip of Manhattan, we created the Billion Oyster Project, where students and NYC residents are helping to clean our harbor by growing and restoring one billion oysters by the year 2035. We provide opportunities for companies, volunteers, and individuals to support our restoration work. The students in the school also intern at the Billion Oyster Project, gaining valuable work experience while we work to restore the water quality of New York Harbor. I am now working with schools throughout NYC to engage in this work. Here is a short video on the project."
—Nate Dudley, Class of 1978
"I volunteered with McGaw YMCA Camp Echo family camp because as I former employee I like to maintain and strengthen relationships with families I have known for many years and help create meaningful experiences for them outdoors."
—Anna Vogel, Class of 2014
"I volunteered to help make sure that the grounds around OPRFHS stay cleaner and to help our environment. It was for a day of service at school."
—Maxine Schneider, Class of 2025
"I volunteer at the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, helping take care of the goats and meeting with visitors, and also in the vegetable garden as a Master Gardener. I also lead a group of volunteers at an educational garden where produce is donated to a community food pantry. Volunteering at the Carl Sandburg home gives me a sense of continuity with my birthplace state of Illinois, and volunteering as a Master Gardener helps beautify our community and increases my own knowledge and enjoyment of gardening. We averaged about 40,000 visitors at Carl Sandburg last year, including at least one visitor from OPRFHS that I met."
—Kathryn (Maple) Whitten, Class of 1978
"Serving the youth of greater OPRF through the Boy Scouts of America program helps lay a solid foundation for the future for not only each unique individual but for the community as a whole."
—Andrew Lennie, Class of 1995 and current OPRF parent
"My wife, Ann, and I helped form Great Headwaters Trails (GHT) in 2010. GHT's mission is to help towns in eastern Vilas County, Wisc., build family-friendly bike-ped trails that would connect them. Most towns in the middle and western part of the county are already connected by an asphalt paved trail that is 55 miles long. So far GHT has helped the towns of Conover and Phelps build a $2 million bike trail connection and is working on a $10 million project to build a bike-ped trail to connect St. Germain and Eagle River, the main city in the county and the county seat."
—Jeff Currie, retired faculty
"I began volunteering to help raise funds for St. Jude back in 2012 when I retired. They host many events to raise funds for ending childhood cancer. I dedicate 15-20 hours a month."
—Juettner Hopkinson, Class of 1973
"I volunteer at the School Street Food Pantry at Illinois State University, where I attend school. It has been an absolutely wonderful experience. Every Friday I volunteer for around three hours. This opportunity has been a great way to meet people, and I have met so many students and members of the community from a variety of different countries. I always look forward to going every Friday."
—Molly Heflin, Class of 2021
"I am currently volunteering in the Housing Forward room at the Economy Shop in Oak Park, as many hours per week as is possible while doing elder care in my childhood home for my 94-year-old mother. This is an opportunity to participate in raising money for those experiencing homelessness and to give them hope for a better future. My son has begun to volunteer also this year and will gain an understanding of the importance of giving one's time to make a difference in others' lives."
—Labarthe Shipley, Class of 1983