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Senior citizens: Hutchinson High School group works on service projects as graduation nears | Local/State News

A program in its second year at Hutchinson High School has seniors doing good in the community.

The International Baccalaureate (IB) career program at Hutchinson High School grew from one senior a year ago to six this year, and as part of the requirements to complete the program, each student organizes a community service project.

All of the projects either include getting other people involved, a public awareness element, or both.

“They’re great kids,” adviser Todd Ray said. “They’ve really stretched themselves.”

The completed project

Jacob Stanley completed his project April 8, organizing a glow run 5K at night to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease and funds for research. Stanley said the event had a personal aspect to it, as his grandfather has Parkinson’s disease.

Stanley said his goals were to get 75 people to run the race and raise $1,000. Instead, the final results were closer to 225 people and $4,000 raised.

“It blew away my expectations,” Stanley said.

Ray said the event even attracted several people who have Parkinson’s disease. Janie Patterson, another adviser for the IB career program, credited the turnout to Stanley’s excellent promotional work on social media.

Stanley said many families emailed him with their stories of loved ones with Parkinson’s.

He said he would like to continue the 5K as an annual event during the summers between school years while he is a student at the University of Kansas.

Stanley said working on the project helped improve his social and communications skills, with all of the meetings that were involved.

Fashion show

The community service cavalcade continues Saturday with Julia Hardenburger’s fashion show with a message, Donate Responsibly. Hardenburger is working to raise awareness of the fashion industry’s effects on the environment while collecting clothes for thrift stores.

She said the “fast fashion” segment of the industry is harmful to the environment in a couple of ways. Because the cycle of what is in style has become so fast, clothes are being overproduced and more clothing is quickly ending up in landfills. At the other end of the spectrum, producing enough fabric to meet the fast fashion industry’s needs has a massive carbon footprint, Hardenburger said.

The fashion show itself will show clothes that are all in some way secondhand, whether vintage, purchased from a thrift store or repaired or recycled. About 30 models will be showing 50 outfits.

The fashion show starts at 2 p.m. Saturday at 800 15th Circle in Hutchinson. Admission is $5, or free with a bag of used clothing. Hardenburger and volunteers will sort donated clothing, with usable clothing being donated to thrift stores and unusable clothing being given to clothing recyclers. Any profit will go to the Clean Clothes Campaign, which works to improve the…

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