The cities of Auxvasse, Fulton, Columbia and Mexico received a helping hand from Missouri Military Academy cadets on September 29 – the Academy’s annual Fall Community Service Day.
PRESSER PERFORMING ARTS CENTER
After tidying up the grounds of the Audrain County Historical Society, MAJ Mike Shoemaker’s students joined MAJ Larry McClarey’s advisees to organize props and clear out old set pieces at the Presser Hall Performing Arts Center.
Our advisory group went to Presser Hall and helped the folks over there with carrying their props and relocating them. We made shelves, then we stacked the shelves with the theatre props and including flowers, typewriters, cameras, vases, liquor and weapons which all look so realistic but are actually fake and so light and easy to use. BILGUUN BYAMBATSOGT ‘16
MEXICO ANIMAL SHELTER
LT Sean Peters’ advisees organized a supply shed, walked dogs and socialized cats and kittens at the Mexico Animal Shelter.
I helped at the animal shelter last year and enjoyed working with the dogs and cats. When we arrived at the shelter, they told us that we needed to organize the back storage shed. The back storage shed consisted of bags upon bags of dog food, cat food and cat litter. The amount of spiders in the room was unbelievable! We had to take all of the bags and boxes out of the room so we could sweep the floor. We then sorted the boxes and bags by size and color before we put them back into the room.
After we finished the storage room, we split up into groups for the next two jobs. The first group went to the shelter’s truck, which they use to transport the animals, and cleaned it spotless. I was part of the second group in charge of cleaning all of the windows in the building. As we cleaned the windows, we visited with the baby kittens and saw some that were born just one week before we arrived. Even though they looked like rats, they were still very cute. The bigger cats loved to climb up on your shoulders. My favorite kitten was this two week old ginger cat with light blue eyes who didn’t seem to be too interested in the people crowding around his cage.
Overall, this year’s community service day was a blast. The dogs and cats at the shelter were extremely cute and fun to play with. The back storage room is the cleanest it’s been in a long time. I enjoyed helping out at the animal shelter and I am looking forward to the next community service day in the future. THOMAS DEAN ‘16
LT Steven Manning’s advisees dug weeds, pruned bushes and swept sidewalks while tidying the grounds of the J.B. & Greeta B. Arthur Cancer Center. ESL instructors Lu Shu and Cheryl Lu combined their advisories and picked up litter at a local park and alongside Pollock Road.
I had three bags full of trash that I picked up, so I felt really good about that. TUGULDUR ALTANGEREL ’17
MISSOURI VETERANS HOME
SFC John Biddle and LT Steven Maziarz accompanied students to the Missouri Veterans Home, where they washed dishes in the cafeteria and played bingo with residents.
My favorite thing about community service day is going to the VA home and being able to help them there. During community service day I went around the parking lot and the back area with my group and we picked up trash all around and filled two bags full of trash. We helped serve food to the residents and we were able to talk with them and get to know what life was like at the VA home. It was also very fun to get to know a little history as well. After we helped clean up the food left over from the residents we were able to go to the cafeteria and get our food. We sat outside for a while to eat our food. When we went in to play bingo with the residents we realized it would be a very intense game. There were a lot of winners and a lot of game faces shown by the residents. At the end of the day I was glad I was able to go to the VA home and help the residents and staff there. I hope that I will be able to do it again the next time we have community service day. ALEXANDER SEIBERT ‘18
We visited three nursing homes with different personalities in the air at each one. My favorite nursing home was probably the last one we went to in Fulton, MO. These older ladies told us they don’t get out of their rooms that much. I felt bad because they don’t get many visitors. I was very lucky to play board games with some elderly people. It was nice talking to them about their past. You could be talking to a war hero, or a person that changed lives of many people, or created new things. They have their own special talents. It’s also cool to think how long they’ve been on Earth and how much experience they have. For me, meeting new people is one of the greatest feelings in the world. And also making an elderly person’s day, maybe even their week. All in all, community service day was all worth my time and made other people’s days better. DEVIN KOTAS ‘17
LT Lewis Bell and MAJ Keith Morgan’s students spent Fall Community Service Day re-painting stripes at the Mexico YMCA pool.
The YMCA has an outdoor pool that has two diving boards, a high dive, a small slide, and also has a tiny kiddy pool on the side. We helped unload all the paint buckets and the rollers. We painted the sides of the pool, and then began to paint the floor. The floor was the hardest, because in the deep end, there was a big ramp that led down and it was very slippery. It was really hard to walk up and down it, and paint on it. After we got the deep end done, all we had to was paint the lanes of the pool, and that wasn’t that hard. We had two people painting each lane, and two people painting the kiddy pool. This community service day was really hot and exhausting, but I feel good, because we helped out the community. TRAE VAN TASELL ‘16
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
LCDR Bill Bushnell’s advisees, supervised by librarian Fran Robley, visited the Mexico Chamber of Commerce on Community Service Day. The group washed windows, weeded flower beds and painted the conference room a warm shade of gold.
“I was privileged to take these hard-working MMA seniors to the Mexico Chamber of Commerce,” Robley said. “[It made] my heart happy to see these wonderful young men learning to give back to their community and enjoying it! … I was really proud of them.”
Our whole advisory went to the Chamber of Commerce. We started to pull weeds around the building and get any trash close to the curbs. After that, everyone washed all of the windows inside and out, which was actually a pretty difficult task, since the windows went up to at least a story high. A friend and I had to maneuver a huge ladder out of the basement and outside. After a good lunch everyone got back to work and started to paint an office on the upstairs floor. The color had been a greenish yellow color before. It looked like a really vintage paint they used in the 70s. The room was painted a coffee brown color. It made the room look more sophisticated and more relaxing. The whole group spent about 5 to 6 hours painting that one room. Since no one really could paint professionally it took us a minute to paint it well. At a very slow pace, we didn’t mess things up. At the end of the day it was all worth it because hard work really does pay and our group got to go on a Sonic run after we had finished. NELSON AGUILERA ‘16
CENTRAL MISSOURI FOOD BANK
The advisory groups of MAJ Mike Pemberton, MAJ Peggy Reynard and MAJ Ananta Khanal – about 30 students – packaged nearly 5,000 pounds of food for area communities at the Central Missouri Food Bank in Columbia, Missouri.
We put oatmeal in a bag, stapled it, wrapped it and boxed it. We finished about 12 boxes. A box is filled with about 40 bags. That’s a lot! CHRISTIAN ELL ‘16
AUXVASSE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
LT Cheryl Morris headed to Auxvasse Elementary School with her students, who picked up litter and tended to flowerbeds, while 1SG Randal Jacobson’s advisees spent the day at Arthur Hills Golf Course.
We got to help out the seventh graders and then help all the first, second, third and fourth graders pick up trash. This was a good trip because we got to help a school look nice and have fun at the same time. CHRISTIAN FOSTER ‘19
Article by LTC Willis Kleinsorge
Five cadets gave up their free time on Saturday, September 26, to do valuable community service work in a very poor area of Jennings, Missouri. Cadet Michael Naughton’s father is on the police force in Jennings and his department was hosting a cleanup of an area of 5 or 6
blocks in the poorer part of his police jurisdiction. Mr. Naughton told his son to invite a group of cadets to come to Jennings to help with this community service project. Michael contacted his advisor (me) and MAJ Edsel Baker. MAJ Baker made the announcement at a noon mess and five cadets volunteered to help in this task.
Dongyang Chen ’20, Joshua John ’17, Weitao Cong ’16, Michael Naughton ’20 and Hector Chapa ’16 made their way to Jennings, not sure what they would find when they arrived. What they found was a very poor neighborhood being assisted in a major cleanup. Three huge demolition dumpsters were on the site to be filled. The area police academy had ten or so volunteers helping and a dozen college students were on hand.
Mr. Naughton greeted us, handed us gloves, loaded us up in a pickup with a trailer hitched to it, and put us immediately to work. The police force and academy had already spent several hours cleaning up the 60 abandoned houses / properties in this several block area. They had done a lot of the initial work in hauling tons of garbage and brush to the curb.
Our group did some initial cleanup, but mostly we loaded trailer after trailer of debris and then unloaded it into the three large dumpsters. We filled all three dumpsters to the max, two with garbage and one with brush. We then loaded up one more trailer and my pickup bed and headed to the city dump. It was a day of hard labor, but our time and effort was worth it. The local residents were pleased to see the police force going to the trouble to help clean up their neighborhood. It was an eye-opening experience for the boys and a very good service performed. We could have filled another dumpster or two if they would have been on site, but Mr. Naughton said he would have to work on it during the following week to finish up the job.
After spending several hours cleaning the neighborhood, Mr. Naughton treated us to a meal at the local Chinese restaurant. He then took us to the Jennings Police Department and gave us a tour of the police headquarters and jail. The group had a good day and all worked hard to help in this community service project.
Q&A: WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF COMMUNITY SERVICE DAY?
My favorite part was when we finished painting the pool at the YMCA. JOSHUA CAMPBELL ‘17
Being with my brothers helping out, seeing them laugh, and having a good time with them while we help at the Food Bank. JOSE MEJIA ’16
Q&A: HOW DID YOU FEEL AT THE END OF COMMUNITY SERVICE DAY?
I felt good because I gave back to my community. SKY SPOTTED EAGLE THUNDERCHILD HENIO ’19
I felt like I had helped make many people happy. ROBERT PRYOR ’16
At first I thought I was going to hate picking up chestnuts all day, but it was actually fun. I would like to do more community service. SCOUT JONES ‘22
Q&A: WHY IS COMMUNITY SERVICE IMPORTANT?
I think having community service day is valuable and very important because it teaches us that a community should look after another and help each other, and it teaches us life skills. BILGUUN BYAMBATSOGT ’16
Selfless-service and care for one’s neighbor and community are essential traits to virtue and character. All of you should feel proud that you gave back and helped someone, some group or organization today! DR. FRANKGIUSEFFI
Because it builds teamwork and discipline. JOSHUA CAMPBELL ‘17
I do think community service is important because some of the workers have tough jobs and they need just some extra help.
NOAH HACKER ‘18
To keep the community looking as nice as possible. DION NGUYEN ‘16