Samstag, März 17, 2007

No.# 1 in Iowa: Matthew Wettach earns presidential service honor

 Matthew Wettach, left, poses with Todd Liechty, MPCHS principal - Source:MPNEWSIt was the first time in Todd Liechty's career in education that he has even seen The President's Volunteer Service Award, and the heavy medallion that comes with it, much less conferred one onto a student.
The Mt. Pleasant high school principal presented the award to Matthew Wettach last night prior to the start of the National Honor Society inductions, in which Matthew also participated.
Matthew was recognized Monday night at the Mt. Pleasant school board meeting as receiving the honor; only the paperwork and the hardware had not arrived from Washington, D.C. However, they were available last night and given to Wettach as the Iowa high school volunteer service selectee. "He's number one in Iowa," Liechty said.
Last December, the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network, a nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C, named Matt a "Daily Point of Light".
Matthew created an ongoing program called "Write Smart," designed to provide the basic school supplies for kindergarten children in the Mt. Pleasant area who have been identified as economically disadvantaged.
Using the proceeds earned from his summer lawn-mowing job, he decided to provide each student with a backpack filled with the materials listed on area school supply lists.
In addition to the supplies, he enclosed a hand-written note encouraging the child to do his or her best in school throughout the year.
Project volunteers at the Tolson Community Action Center in Mt. Pleasant filled a total of 32 backpacks with materials. The cost of each pack with materials was $71.42 and the total cost of the project was $2,285.44.
"This is very rewarding that others notice the time you put into [volunteering]," Wettach said. "It's also encouraging to keep doing [the project]."
As a junior he has another couple of summers in which to mow lawns and raise money to put more book bags together for kids.
Principal Liechty described Wettach as "a great kid" and "a fantastic young man.
"He's very intelligence, but you'd never know it, because he is so easy to be around. He has so many things going for him, but he's humble and just wants to fit in."
He noted that Matt is the only student from Iowa to receive this award. He will go on now for national consideration among the other 49 honorees in the country.
"I'm not sure," Liechty added, "but I think he just might get the national award, too."
[ Full article: MPNEWS ]

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