ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Trinity students raise money, write cards for ill infant

The Standard of the Titans, a creed which the students of Trinity High School reaffirm at the start of each year, is a dedication to setting a higher standard of behavior, to making a difference.

Sarah Mayer (left) and Jordanne McNeilley count up a jar full of goodwill donations. These girls, Trinity High School students, helped spearhead an effort that raised money for a family in need. (Iain Woessner/The Dickinson Press)
Sarah Mayer (left) and Jordanne McNeilley count up a jar full of goodwill donations. These girls, Trinity High School students, helped spearhead an effort that raised money for a family in need. (Iain Woessner/The Dickinson Press)

The Standard of the Titans, a creed which the students of Trinity High School reaffirm at the start of each year, is a dedication to setting a higher standard of behavior, to making a difference.

Perhaps it is that dedication that inspires those students, the Rev. Kregg Hochhalter said, describing the quick and hard work and dedication demonstrated by Trinity's student body these past couple weeks, in which they raised about $1,000 to help benefit infant Krew Kleeman, the son of Killdeer High School's principal, who was born with severe heart complications.

"Really we do try with our student groups, especially our student council, (ensure) that we are responding to the needs of other people and certainly 'Kards for Kleeman' is a prime example of that," Hochhalter said. "Krew ... is just a few months old, that need wasn't around before, a year ago, there was no Krew Kleeman. Now there is a Krew Kleeman and he needs our help."

Crafting a curriculum of compassion comes from the community spirit of Trinity's students. The idea to help the Kleemans came from the mind of Jordanne McNeilly, vice president of the Trinity Student Council and a student-athlete.

"We thought that if somebody here had struggles like that we would want to see our community come together and do something for them," McNeilly said. "So we thought our community could ... do something for the Killdeer community ... I didn't really know if people would understand what we were doing it for, but everyone really stepped up, they poured their heart into the cards."

ADVERTISEMENT

Trinity's students became aware of Killdeer's efforts to hold a raffle drive to raise money to help support the Kleemans. McNeilly worked with the president of the student council, Sarah Mayer, to organize "Kards for Kleeman" where students pitched it at least $2 to receive a card in which they might handwrite a message of support for the Kleemans.

The money was to go to help pay for transportation costs for the family as they go to and from treatment.

"When someone brings the opportunity like this forward, there really isn't a time frame. We can always throw something together for someone in need," Mayer said. "For sure it's a team effort, we had workers volunteering to help, it's really our whole student body though. Nobody complains about spending money or making cards, everyone just is willing to donate and give what they have."

Mayer said that for many at Trinity, they've struggled with crises in the past, and have endured thanks to community support.

"We all personally have gone through things like this," Mayer said. "It's easy to help someone else because you know how much it benefits them."

Killdeer and Trinity have shared a friendly relationship, with many of the students engaged in friendships with each other, and the two have a history of joint support.

"It just feels awesome, everybody in the district, in this region, it shows how tight-knit we all are," Karter Kleeman, principal of Killdeer High School and father of Krew, said. "We try to do anything we can to help out. A few years ago, Trinity High School, they had the fire that started there ... Killdeer had a fundraiser, sold a bunch of T-shirts and gave the proceeds ... so it's almost like paying it forward."

Going above and beyond is something that Hochhalter said begins with instilling the principles of the Titan Standard.

ADVERTISEMENT

"We want the kids to be kids, but I don't think we should use that as an excuse for rudeness or low standards," Hochhalter said. "We constantly support them, encourage them ... to take the high road, be the better man. I think they ... just get it in themselves through competition, through friendships and relationships that we are going to do good."

While the exact number of dollars raised hadn't been tallied yet, just about the whole school was thought to have put in at least the $2 minimum, if not more. As an incentive for participating, the students of Trinity were allowed to not have to wear their uniforms for a day.

McNeilley and Mayer are both graduating this year, and bidding farewell to a student council experience that began for them as freshmen.

"It's taught me a lot of leadership and how to lead a school and it's given me some really great friendships, too," McNeilly said. "I'm really big into sports, so putting a lot of work into something outside of sports has made me a really well-rounded student, I think."

As for how the baby Krew is doing?

"He is doing very well, he is acting like a normal baby," Kleeman said. "You'd never think anything was wrong, he's ... kind of got a personality, loves to smile and sure loves his sister's voices."

4110599+152237713389559375.jpg
Students at Trinity High School in Dickinson crowded the halls to write cards of support for Krew Kleeman, an infant from Killdeer struggling with illness. (Photo courtesy of Trinity High School)

What To Read Next
Neil Joseph Pfeifer was released Friday, Feb. 3, on $5,000 cash bail.
State lawmakers hear from both sides as parents and educators weigh in on the potential impact of the bill
“We see that when things happen in the coastal areas, a few years later, they start trending toward the Midwest,” said Rep. Ben Krohmer, serving his first term in the House.
Stark County prosecutors prepare for pretrial conferences and jury trials scheduled for March