T&I Boosters host Sept. 22 fundraiser

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

LE MARS — After a two-year hiatus due to COVID restrictions, a fundraiser to benefit the Le Mars Community School District’s Trades & Industries program returns.

The 12th Annual Trades and Industries Booster Club meal will be held from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 22, at the Trades & Industries building at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Fourth Street Southeast, across the street from Franklin Elementary School.

The meal includes taverns and hot dogs, chips, baked beans, drink and ice cream novelties, all for a freewill donation.

A new feature this year is a live auction starting at 6 p.m., with auctioneers from Brock Auction Company conducting the auction.

“Please come and bid on the items that have been generously donated by people and businesses in the community,” said Booster member Stephanie Jurgens. “Show your support for the mechanics and welders that stay and work right here in the community.”

Auction items include a Tool Cart from Shawn Trosper, Snap-On Tools; Iowa Hawkeyes Can Recycle Bin by Brad Bochum; Cornhole game with Bulldog decals by Jurgens Excavating; two basic oil changes from Quality Lube; gift basket of miscellaneous items from NorthWest REC; $50 gift card from American Bank; basket of items including a gift card from Primebank; a dozen gourmet cupcakes from Piece of Cake; wooden Bulldog decoration from The Craft Den; 11 rounds of free golf from Prairie Rose Golf Course in Burnsville; meat bundle from Fareway; free waffle cones from Wells Ice Cream Parlor; bags of softener salt from Le Mars Agri Center; farm toy from Titan Implement; sticky rolls from Bellissimos; gift basket from Brentwood Good Samaritan Society; four adult buffets and two pizzas for a year from Pizza Ranch.

Jurgens expects more items will be added at the event.

“We are just so excited to get back after missing two years because of COVID restrictions,” Jurgens said.

Funds raised will be used in a number of ways.

In the classroom, there will be updates and purchase of iPads for students.

New equipment for the welding area includes welding rods, update of the welding booths, and a plasma cutter.

In the automotive area, a testing station and tools are on the list.

“Anything the instructor needs for the students, he lets us know and we immediately get on board and make it happen,” Jurgens said.

Several students shared about the classes they have taken and what they like most about it

Ryan Sadoski has intro to welding and intro to auto. “I like the hands-on work and the bonds you build with people,” he said.

Nathan Tyler said, “I was in intro to welding and am in auto 1. My favorite things about being in T&I classes is that I can do things on my own and not be helped step by step with everything so I had to some thinking on my own.”

Caleb Dicks, a senior, is in his second year of auto and also took welding last year.

He said, “The thing I like most about the program is that the classes can set you up for success in college. I went to DMACC (Des Moines Area Community College) competitions last year, and I will also be going again this year.”

Juan Prieto has been in auto for two years and said he likes working on engines the best.

Kirsten Tyler has been in the T&I program for two years. She took intro to welding and auto 1 her first year, and then college welding and auto 2 the second year.

“I have not been to a competition yet. My favorite thing about the program is how invested the teachers are in our future and that they are showing us doing trades like welding or mechanics can be a great job,” Kirsten said.

Matthew Vondrak has been in the T&I building for three years.

“I started in intro to welding my sophomore year. Then junior year I took auto 1. Now in my senior year I am taking the first year college welding and auto 2,” he said. “My favorite part of this class is the hands-on, being around guys that have the same interest as you, and that you can get along and joke with them while learning.”

Jimmy Fuentes added, “I like how we can have physical items in a building to help show or maybe give an example of parts that are needed in cars. I also like the chance to be able to work on small engines.” He is starting his second year in the program.

As Jurgens noted, a number of students who have gone through the T&I program remain the community.

“One of the many examples of these students is Tom Susemihl, who recently retired from his lifelong businesses, but still appreciates what he learned in the auto and welding classes,” Jurgens said.

Jurgens and booster club members give a special thanks to every business and person who purchased a T&I membership this fall.

“We appreciate the support of the community,” she said.

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