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In 1975, Meresa Girdley painted “Center Grove Trojans are Dyn-o-mite” on her neighbor’s barn. Today, she returned to paint it again, this time as a special services assistant with students from teacher Dawna Montgomery’s STaR as part of CG’s annual junior Day of Caring.
“I was a senior in high school and the Center Grove basketball team was on their way to Regionals, so we wanted to just pump up the team and show the community that we were backing the Center Grove Trojans,” said Girdley.
Girdley was excited when she found out the Stewart family, who owned the barn, wanted to repaint the barn, which has become a landmark.
“This has shown the students of Center Grove what the community has been about for the last 42 years, that we have always been a community, that we have always backed our schools and Trojan teams. This is a really special day for me,” said Girdley.
The Day of Caring was special for other reasons, too. As a part of Day of Caring, 596 students went out into the community to various places around town. Southland Community Church, the White River Township fire Department #53, the CG Little League fields, the Stewart Family Barn and Crabapple Creek are some of the places that students visited today, to name a few.
“I think it is important to give back to the community. It allows for kids to be good people, helping out around our community and anywhere around us. It is a good day for all of us,” said Grace Daniels, who went with teacher Jen Pickell’s STaR class.
For many students Day of Caring was not just a day for kids to go out and help local businesses, and clean up community landmarks; for many students today affected them on a more personal level.
“For me, it makes me feel like I’m being a better person, helping out everybody and making everything look nicer,” said Seth Owens.
Not only did students help organizations in the community, they also forged unity as STaR classes.
“Day of Caring means that we can help out others and come together as one,” said Sam Hohlt.
Whether it be through planting flowers or painting a barn, students expanded beyond the walls of CGHS to make a difference in the community.
“I believe it spreads awareness that your actions should not just be for yourself,” said Amanda Hoffman. “It is a day that I can get out and make a difference, even though it is small. I can feel productive and feel good about myself because I am helping others.”