Jim Thorpe House meets Jim Thorpe borough
VICTOR IZZO/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS With rakes stacked and a huge pile of leaves behind them awaiting pickup, the students of the Milton Hershey School's Jim Thorpe House have finished up their community service project. Seated, from left, Bradley Munday, Markese McDuffin, Clifton Vaughan, and Eric Jeffress. Standing, Rotary Past President Susan Sterling, Thomas Kassmieh, houseparent Silas Deaquino, Quincon Greger, Akia Cyrus, Daniel DeFraitas Smith, Brett Mabie, Alex Radetsky, houseparent. Natasha Deaquino, and Nicholas Munday.
Jim Thorpe came to its namesake town when 11 students of the Milton Hershey School Jim Thorpe House visited to help out with some community service and find out what their house is named after.
This all came to be when houseparent Natasha Deaquino contacted Bob Stevenson, president of the Rotary Club of Jim Thorpe, to arrange a visit and plan a day in town.
Stevenson worked with Jack Sterling and John Drury, who arranged for the students' day to start with the community service project to clean up Kemmerer Park, with other activities to follow.
Accompanied by Rotary Past President Susan Sterling, the 11 boys and two houseparents started cleaning up of leaves throughout the park about 9 a.m., and continued their raking until about 1 p.m.
After their hours of hard work, they were rewarded with pizza, which was provided by the Rotary Club of Jim Thorpe, with help from Gaetano's Pizza of Jim Thorpe.
After lunch, they traveled to the other side of the town to visit the mausoleum of their house's namesake, Jim Thorpe. That was followed by a tour of the Mauch Chunk Museum and Cultural Center, given by Bill Allison.
To finish off their day, they were taken on a Rotary Ghost Walk so they could learn even more about the history of the town.
The Milton Hershey School is a private philanthropic boarding school in Hershey, Pa., which was founded and funded by chocolate industrialist Milton Snavely Hershey and his wife Catherine Sweeney Hershey.
Originally named the Hershey Industrial School, the institution was established for impoverished, healthy, Caucasian, male orphans, while today it serves students of various backgrounds.
With over $6 billion dollars in assets, the Milton Hershey School is one of the wealthiest schools in the world and currently serves 1,818 students in the 150 different homes on campus.
The Milton Hershey School Trust, which funds the school, owns controlling interest in The Hershey Company and owns the Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Company, which oversees many hotels along with the Hersheypark theme park
"The school gives its students a better life, a better education, and a better future," said Deaquino.