MPHS Central School Challenge 06-08-16Lions Park Elementary School, 300 E. Council Trail, Mount Prospect raised $607.23 to put toward completing the restoration of the 1896 one-room schoolhouse on the Mount Prospect Historical Society campus in downtown Mount Prospect, winning the “Birthday Countdown: Finish the Job!” challenge issued by the Mount Prospect Historical Society earlier this spring.

As a result, interested Lions Park students will have the honor of marching in the Mount Prospect Fourth of July parade, alongside the Mount Prospect Historical Society’s replica schoolhouse float.  They will carry a banner announcing that they are the winners of the “Finish the Job” challenge.

“I am so proud of our second grade students and the effort they put forth to do chores at home so they could earn money to donate for the renovation of Central School,” said Kristine Gritzmacher, principal.  “For many years, Lions Park second grade students have done chores around the house so they could donate their money earned to the Village’s efforts to restore this historic building.  It is fitting that Lions Park should win the honor of marching in the Village’s Fourth of July parade with the Central School replica float.  Thank you to the “second graders” throughout the years for a job well done!”

The Society had issued two challenges to local schools at the beginning of the school year.  Last fall students from six schools brought in spare change and dropped it into large plastic containers, raising a total of $3,580.45 for the effort.

This spring a second challenge was issued and three schools answered the call – Lions Park, Fairview and Saint Paul Lutheran.  Students were asked to do chores, contribute spare change and think of other inventive ways to raise money for the restoration.  Together, the three schools raised a total of $901.69 which has been presented to the Society.
For instance, three boys from Fairview School, Peyton Mulligan, Ben Galbreath and Evan Mantas, made and sold lemonade during the Village-wide Garage Sale in late May, raising $118.36 to add to their school’s fund-raising total.  Their classmates helped by washing dishes and taking out the trash for contributions from their parents.
Across town at Lions Park students mowed lawns; cleaned gutters; fed pets; drew pictures and sold them; folded and put away the family laundry; conducted garage sales; and even cleaned basements for contributions to the one-room schoolhouse.
“I was amazed (referring to the large amount of money raised by his school),” Lions Park second grader Colin Goodman said.  “I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is really going to help Central School!”
Meanwhile, at Saint Paul Lutheran School which won last fall’s challenge, third grade teacher Deb Rittle said they simply collected spare change again, asking students to show their Comet spirit and contribute.

The school-by-school results were as follows:  Lions Park Elementary School came in first by raising $607.23.  Fairview Elementary School came in second, raising $227.89 and Saint Paul Lutheran came in third with $66.95.

“We are so grateful to all of the students who brought in generous contributions and to the teachers and staff members at the various schools who worked very hard to make the fund-raising effort a fun and educational endeavor,” said Linda Hoefert, co-chairman of the campaign.  “This will truly help move the restoration effort on the Central School forward toward the finish line.  In fact, interior work will be taking place this summer.”

Lions Park School will be honored with an MPTV-televised proclamation from Mayor Arlene Juracek and the Village Board on June 21.  The framed proclamation they receive will probably be hung in the school for years to come as a testament to the school’s leadership role in the community.  Representatives from all three participating schools will receive certificates of appreciation that evening.

“Mount Prospect will celebrate its 100th birthday on Feb. 3, 2017, and we hope to re-enact the signing of the Village’s papers of incorporation in the historic building where it actually took place a century ago.  In order for that to happen and for the schoolhouse to be opened for school field trips and public gatherings, the restoration needs to be completed,” explained Jill Friedrichs, co-chairman of the campaign with Hoefert.

“Since the Mount Prospect Historical Society began its adventure in 2003, the Society has raised – and expended – $370,000, almost entirely from private, local sources,” explained Frank Corry, Mount Prospect Historical Society president.  “We have completed the move of the building, interior demolition, repair/replacement of the back wall and roof, structural reinforcement of the floor, construction of an interior utility stairway and installation of the electrical, HVAC, fire alarm and sprinkler systems.  It has been an exciting project and this summer we will begin the final steps toward our ultimate goal of restoring this iconic remnant of Mount Prospect’s past.”

For more information about the Central School restoration, phone the Mount Prospect Historical Society at 847-392-9006.

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