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Red Lake High School: Students host elders for holiday program

Red Lake High School senior Krystal Jourdain serves a noon meal to elders from left, Mary Skinway, Ruth Beaulieu and Pat Needham Wednesday afternoon as more than 40 elders attended an appreciation meal and program hosted by the students. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

During parent conferences earlier this month, the Red Lake High School Notional Honor Society held a bake sale.

They raised $200 and decided to use the money to buy gifts for elders in the community. Students also hosted a lunch and special program for about 40 elders.

Some students brought their grandparents, and a contingent of elders bused to the school from the Jourdain-Perpich Care Center.

"Something small started something wonderful," said Julie Praska Red Lake National Honor Society adviser.

The students and guests lunched together and then went into the gymnasium for a program featuring an opening prayer, distribution of gifts and an honor song by the Red Lake High School drum group.

"My son goes to school here, and I have three grandchildren who go to school here, and they told me to be sure and come today," said Gail Stillday. "Then I went and told my ma, and she told her friends."

Stillday's mother and friends - Ruth Bealieu, Mary Skinaway and Pat Needham - scooped up one of the new decks of cards students passed to each table, shuffled and began a game of rummy.

"She's used to playing for money," said Ruth of Pat, laughed and assured her friend she had put her quarter away.

Rueben and Louanne Wind are former Red Lake School District employees - he a custodian in the elementary school and she as head cook.

Louanne said their grandchildren told them about the celebration.

"A lot of us come; it's nice," said Edith Jackson, who said she only regretted her husband had died.

"I wish he was still alive - He'd be sitting with me," she said.

The Red Lake National Honor Society members, all seniors, are Krystal Jourdain, Nicole Good, Vestanna Cook, Larissa Oakgrove and Mariah Altaha.