McHenry-area service organizations joined McHenry High School District 156 administrators, teachers and students recently at McHenry High School’s West Campus for the Community Fellowship Breakfast, an annual Thanksgiving tradition that this year honored McHenry High School graduates who now are first responders.
McHenry Police Chief John Birk, a 1993 graduate of East Campus, was the keynote speaker for the program, which also featured speakers from several service organizations, including the McHenry Lions Club, Kiwanis – Noon Club and Rotary Club of McHenry-Sunrise.
Birk said all of the efforts by local service clubs, churches and other organizations to prepare young people for the future is a sign that McHenry is a healthy community.
“The most important component of any community is the people who live and work in it,” he said.
Members of the McHenry Police Department, McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, McHenry Township Fire Protection District and Wonder Lake Fire Protection District who are graduates of McHenry High School were honored during the breakfast.
In addition to recognizing first responders, the breakfast was an opportunity for District 156 administrators and teachers to thank service clubs for their support of school programs. Many local organizations support the school district’s Advanced Placement program as well as Food for Thought – the high school’s food pantry – and the National Honor Society.
Marsha Potthoff, principal at West Campus, and Jeff Prickett, principal at East Campus, each spoke about how essential support is from the community for high school students and programs.
Students from the National Honor Society and Food for Thought were on hand to serve food during the breakfast. The morning’s entertainment was provided by McHenry High School’s Surround Sound choir.
Nancy Henningfield organizes the annual event.
First responders who are graduates of McHenry High School are:
• Birk; Cmdr. Paul Funk; officers Josh Conway, Robert Klasek, Anthony Mucciante, Christina Noyes, Paul Prather, Patrick Polidori and Bryan Wegner; administrative assistant and retired Deputy Chief Roger Pechous; lead dispatcher Justin Liebach; dispatchers Kaitlin Durband, Katie Fitzgerald and Holly Neville; and records clerk Marybeth Varvil of the McHenry Police Department
• Michael Hart and Marco Tello of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office
• Timothy Butler, Mark Diedrich, Sam Duggan, Jeremy Fisher, Todd Goranson, Ryan Harding, Justin Liebach, Philip Lesniak, Chris Mann, William Oeffling, David Reid, Ryan Shay and Brian Thome of the McHenry Township Fire Protection District
• Ervin Gall, Gregory Mieling, Billy Loeding, Brittany Sarabia, Nicole Rios, Kerry Uhlhorn and Carley Nicolay of the Wonder Lake Fire Protection District