Kelly Gordon, my former student and a Red Bank Maryknoll Affiliate for three years, was killed on April 10th as she attempted to cross 84th street in New York City.
Kelly, a senior at Boston College due to graduate in May, was in NYC with her sister to interview for a job. Kelly was a quiet and wonderful young woman who had a deep sense of compassion for all, but especially for children.
For the past two years, Maryknoll affiliate students at RBC have learned about the mission work of Mrs. Kathy Jones Dunford who is a member of the class of 1961. Kathy has corresponded with the students through letters, photos and emails and the students have responded by writing to her, raising awareness among our students about her work and also sponsoring numerous fund raisers to help support her in mission. So it was with great anticipation that the students finally got to meet Mrs. Dunford during her two day visit this past week. Kathy spoke to combined groups of religion classes in our school's auditorium, sharing with them the story of her personal journey towards Maryknoll and mission as well as showing them a wonderful power point presentation about her work as a physician's assistant in Kitale, Kenya. During her two days of outreach, approximately 750 students learned about her mission work.
Towards the end of the second day of her visit, the Maryknoll affiliate students and the members of the school's knitting and crocheting club held a surprise party for Kathy. The affiliates presented her with a check for $1,000 to help support her work at St. Raphael's clinic and the girls in the crochet club presented her with nearly 100 infant hats that they had knitted for the new born babies in the maternity clinic. The crochet club moderators, Ms. Jeanne Skrobot and Mrs. Susan Flaherty did a great job decorating the classroom with the baby hats while the girls baked cupcakes that looked like balls of yarn! During the party many of the students took advantage of their time with Kathy to ask more in-depth questions about life in Kenya and her work there as a physician's assistant.
Everyone present had a wonderful time and we at RBC look forward to continuing our relationship with Kathy who has recently renewed her contract as a lay missoner and will be returning to Kenya in June. GO, RBC!!! "Once a Casey. ALWAYS a Casey!"
Red Bank Catholic's affiliates, aided by some friends, scooped and sold 471 ice cream sundaes in the space of 3.5 hours today, raising a total of $942. This money will be donated to Mrs. Kathy Dunford, Maryknoll lay missioner and RBC alumna, during Kathy's much anticipated visit to her alma mater on Monday and Tuesday, May 14 and 15. The donation will be used by Kathy to provide medical care and purchase medical supplies for St. Raphael's clinic in Kitale, Kenya. Kathy is a physican's assistant who works at this clinic.
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This is a photo of Mary Sivec. She is the great-aunt (age 91!) of one of our students at our elementary school, St. James. She wanted to use her gifts to help the missioners, so she knit 101 infant caps for Kathy Dunford's use in her maternity clinic in Kitale! As Kathy said when she saw the photo: "hats off to Aunt Mary!!"
Mary Oldham, Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Mombasa, sent the photo below to the Red Bank Catholic High School Club as a way of saying "thank you" for pencils I brought with me when I visited there with Friends Across Borders (see Kenya Gifts: In the Eyes of the Beholders). Click on the picture to enlarge it.
The Red Bank Catholic/Maryknoll Affiliate club's video entry into the diocesan/national contest "The Corporal Works of Mercy" has been selected as the winner among all schools' (both elementary and high) entries for the Diocese of Trenton
Our video has now been sent on to the Basilica in Washington DC for entry into the national contest sponsored by the Catholic Bishops.
Once again, students from the Red Bank Maryknoll Affiliates Club went to St. James Grade School in Red Bank to teach 2nd Graders.
Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
We have a wonderful new idea for a project. I spoke with Mary Oldham, Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Mombasa, yesterday, and we are going to have my students write short stories and book reports about their favorite books. We will email these to Mary who is working to develop two small libraries for her work with AIDS orphans. We are trying to ignite correspondence and interest in reading and writing among both groups of students. We are sending Mary a donation to buy books for her libraries.
We also recently sent a donation to Sr Helene O'Sullivan in Cambodia to buy a computer for her shelter for women who had been victims of sex trafficking.
And we are finalizing our lesson plans to teach our 2 and 3 graders about Advent.
The pen pals in Kenya (Cindy Korb) is an idea that is great and is working out very well.
I have submitted a recent letter from Sr Mary Little, Cambodia, thanking for our donation to her program for preschool kids.