The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

March 10, 2010

Students of SRCA come to the aid of community in need

CONNEAUT — The devastation of Haiti, seen at a distance, recently became an up close and personal reality to members of a South Ridge mission team. Their objective while there was to assist an orphanage by doing carpentry, plumbing, painting and computer repair.

“The Haiti mission trip was a huge success,” said junior Micah Rzeszutek. “I enjoyed every second of it!”

Mission teams from South Ridge have gone to Haiti every two years since 1998. However, this year’s mission was even more vital because of the recent earthquake. Thanks to the generosity of the community and those at South Ridge the team left for Cap Haitian, Haiti, on Feb. 21 with more than three tons of medical supplies, food and other humanitarian aid.

“After we arrived at the airport we were worried about the customs costs because people in front of us were being charged outrageous prices for small amounts of baggage,” said Rzeszutek. “When it was our turn, a U.S. soldier came in and told the customs manager that we were not to be charged a cent because it was a humanitarian act. We were relieved and thrilled that we would be able to give the money set aside for customs to the orphanage.”

The team returned safely home on March 3 upon successful completion of their mission.

“I had mixed emotions about leaving the orphans but it was really nice to be finally home,” said Rzeszutek. “It was shocking to see the conditions they were living in after the earthquake. It made me thankful for what we take for granted in America. I was also grateful to be a small part in helping that country.”

Many hands made light work at a recent “wood day” organized by Robert Fralic.

“Wood day was a great way for us to help our community,” said seventh grader Mark Emus. “Mrs. (Marjorie) Phillips, a widow, was running out of wood to heat her home. Coach Fralic asked students from South Ridge to help split and stack wood for her. It felt good to reach out and help someone else.”

Students met at Phillips’ house after school and immediately began to work. Within a couple of hours the stacks of wood had been replenished. A special thank you goes to the students who gave of their time and to Fralic for seeing the need and providing a solution for it.

The 2009-2010 SRCA basketball season will come to an official close March 12 with the annual father/son game and awards night. This night is a much anticipated opportunity for the basketball team to play against their fathers.

“We had a great basketball season,” said Coach Fralic. “We will definitely miss our four seniors: Eddie Pesa, Timothy Kaupilla, Jonathan Pulaski Jr. and Ryan Fralic. We had some great games! We were thankful Suite 541 could come and video two of our games. Our fans were the best and supported us well!”

SRCA is also looking forward to the annual Super Sale (a giant indoor garage sale) to be held March 24-26. Tables are arranged in the gym and students desiring to raise money for end-of-the-year projects fill the tables with items from home or that have been donated by grandparents, neighbors and others. When the time of the sale arrives, the gym is literally packed with antiques, clothing, furniture, baby items, games and much more. The date for the Super Sale is strategically scheduled to be one of the first sales of the season in the area. This has proven to be the most financially profitable time for students involved.

Finances earned are used exclusively for the Christian Schools of Ohio competition to be held in Cleveland April 15-16 and/or for the annual spring retreat to be held at Miracle Mountain Ranch April 28-30.

The light is beginning to shine at the end of the tunnel for SRCA seniors. The long-awaited day of graduation is nearly here. Yet, the challenges of year-end testing, college choices, applications for scholarships and many other crucial decisions may make them think that it wasn’t so bad being in school after all. For them, time is rushing to a close of the old and a beginning of the new, whether they are ready or not!