Have you ever been to Deanville, Texas? I hadn’t until just recently when I attended the Hermann Sons Deanville Lodge meeting on June 4. The lodge building has a lot of history and when I arrived, a very large group was leaving after having used the facility for an event.
What I found in Deanville was very similar to what we see all over Texas – a group of dedicated Hermann Sons members making a difference in their communities. As we know, community service is a big part of what makes Hermann Sons special. Members work hard to help each other and their communities in times of need and belonging to Hermann Sons allows more good deeds to be possible.
Deanville Lodge made a big impact in recognition of Join Hands Day. On May 10, a total of 45 Deanville Lodge members and Deanville 4-H Club participants met at the Deanville Volunteer Fire Department to join hands for a community service project to benefit the Camp Grief Support Session sponsored by Hermann Sons.
The Grief Support Session is a half-week summer camp adventure that will be held at Hermann Sons Camp in Comfort, Texas, for children, members and non-members, ages 6 to 17 who have lost a loved one like a parent or sibling. Licensed therapists and volunteer program staff will work together to create a special stay filled with therapeutic and traditional camp activities for the campers. The children will be surrounded by and participating in activities with other children who have experienced similar loss. The first session will be held this summer, July 5-8. This is the main charitable cause within Hermann Sons’ focus on grief support services.
For their project, the Deanville Lodge and Deanville 4-H collected art supplies like markers, scissors and construction paper for the children to use during the Camp session. Supplies also were collected in the lobby at the Citizens State Bank in Deanville so the greater community could be involved. “These are all items we will be able to put to good use during activities and in the cabins during the Grief Support Session,” said Executive Camp Director Katie Klohn Miller.
When I visited Deanville Lodge, I had the privilege of accepting the donations for the Grief Support Session. There were quite a few of the children from the 4-H Club who participated in the project who were present for the presentation. It was fun talking to them about the project and how the art supplies would be used. Their 4-H Club Leader Kristen Suehs told me that the children get extra excited about projects that help other children.
Pictured for the presentation are adults Deanville Lodge President Donnie Blinka, me, Deanville 4-H Club Leader Kristen Suehs and Deanville Lodge Secretary Marsha Kocurek and children Alycen Faust, Deanville 4-H Vice President Cameron Suehs, Kate Hill, Madalyn Faus, Luke Novosad and Kameryn Hill.
As you can see, this project really met the mission of Join Hands Day – promoting youth and adults joining together to make a difference in their communities.
But Deanville Lodge still did more. In addition to the art supplies collected, Deanville Lodge hosted a painting party to raise funds for children to be sponsored to attend the Grief Support Session. Participants paid a fee to paint on a canvas under the instruction of a local artist. A total of $205 was raised through this event. When she heard about this fund-raising activity, Community Service Coordinator Laura Adams said, “Deanville chose a very creative way to raise funds and increase awareness for the Camp Grief Support Session.”
I asked Marsha Kocurek how she came up with the idea of having a painting party to raise money for the Grief Support Session and she explained, “The idea for having a painting party came from the supply list sent out by the Home Office. I thought it would be fun to get a group of people together to raise money for campers doing something the campers would also get to enjoy. It’s also fun because we live in a rural community that enjoys getting together! This was a fun day with a fun group of ladies. They all asked to have another one soon!” She went on to say, “We are also very fortunate to have someone in the community who is very artistic and will lead these classes.”
The Grief Support Session will do tremendous good for children and Deanville Lodge’s support of the cause is greatly appreciated. Through contributions from lodges, individuals and others, Hermann Sons is able to sponsor all 50 of the children participating in the Session. The $205 raised through the painting party is a substantial portion of the $500 it costs to send each child to the Grief Support Session. “I am proud of all of our lodges supporting our Camp Grief Support Session and appreciate Deanville Lodge’s contributions,” remarked Vice President of Member Benefits Kim Krueger.
The layers of Deanville Lodge’s projects for the Grief Support Session were already very impressive, and then I found out that they were also making donations to three other organizations in observance of Join Hands Day, I was even more impressed. They presented checks to the Elizabeth Lutheran Food Pantry, Caldwell Christians Care and St. Joseph Manor. Each donation recipient spoke of how the funds would be used. Mike Cook of the Elizabeth Lutheran Food Pantry explained that the $100 donation would be able to feed 10 families. Pictured from left to right are Mike Cook of Elizabeth Lutheran Food Pantry, Alice Krobot of Caldwell Christians Care, Sherri Kay Peters of St. Joseph Manor, Deanville Lodge President Donnie Blinka and me.
Deanville Lodge found multiple ways to participate in Join Hands Day. They shine at community service and community involvement. These types of events also raise awareness about the organizations they’re benefitting.