Hopewell Grange honored the Sacred Heart-Griffin High School football team and boosters from Springfield, Illinois as the winner of their non-member community service winner this year. On Nov. 17, a deadly tornado devastated the town of Washington, Illinois. While several players and their families “lost everything” and more than fifteen Washington football players lost their homes or were displaced because of the tornado, the football season continued. Less than a week later, Washington High School and Sacred Heart- Griffin High School played a Class 5A playoff semifinal game. After learning of the tornado’s destruction, Sacred Heart-Griffin football coach and athletic director Ken Leonard hosted a team meeting with Bob Brenneisen, the Sacred Heart-Griffin High School assistant principal and assistant coach. They asked their football families to help the Washington team. Anne Dondanville and Michele Reavy, two freshman football moms were instrumental in organizing the volunteers. The Sacred Heart-Griffin High School community sent water and organized nine charter buses for Washington fans, as many had vehicles that were destroyed or inaccessible. The Springfield school gave more than $75,000 to Washington, and provided a pregame snack and postgame dinner for the team and its families. The footballs used by Sacred Heart-Griffin during their Saturday’s Class 5A championship win belonged to the Washington team. Last spring on awards assembly at the end of the school year, Gary and Elaine Hecathorn, President and community service chairman of Hopewell Grange presented the plaque for winning the Hopewell non-member award. This past September, they again made the same trip to Sacred Heart- Griffin’s homecoming assembly to present the plaque for winning the Illinois State Grange non-member community service award. This is the thank you that Hopewell Grange received from Sister Margaret Joanne, Principal of Sacred Heart – Griffin School.
Thank you for the award. You have brought good, positive attention to our students. We are proud of them and their service. Thanks for coming to our assembly/pep rally. May God bless all farmers and those who work hard, love the land, and provide food for our tables. Blessings to you and The Grange.