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PLHS students beautify their communities

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In what has become an annual tradition, Pequot Lakes High School students on Wednesday, May 7, armed themselves with rakes, towels, paint brushes and other tools helpful to making their communities more beautiful places.

The Day of Caring sent students across the district and beyond, from Pequot Lakes to Crosslake, from East Gull Lake to Pine River, to rake leaves, wash windows, apply fresh coats of paint and much more.

“It’s nice to help out with people if they need it,” said sophomore Megan Morgan, who worked at Sibley Lake Park clearing leaves and pine needles.

Pequot Lakes Mayor Nancy Adams, who monitored and assisted with cleanup efforts at the city’s parks, said the Day of Caring is an opportunity for both the community and for students.

“They have a nice new school, and they want to say ‘thanks,’” said Adams. “They’re doing an absolutely fantastic job.”

In addition to public spaces and churches, students were dispatched to a large number of private residences this year as well.

At the home of Alta Hanson in Pequot Lakes, several juniors worked to clear brush and remove scrap wood from her back yard. Hanson, who recently spent a couple months in a nursing home due to a broken femur, sat outside with the students.

“This is so wonderful,” she said. “They’re doing more than I thought they would.”

Madison Galligan, who worked in Hanson’s yard, said that helping the community was her favorite part about the Day of Caring.

“You don’t get paid for it,” she said. “You just feel good about it.”

Students also picked up trash and litter at the Pequot Lakes fire tower. Juniors Nick Olson and Dillon Nichols along with senior Gordy Amundson raked and picked up trash, filling three bags.

Principal Chip Rankin said students had 16 more volunteer opportunities this year as compared to last.

“I think it’s important for people to understand that it’s important to help your neighbor,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to connect our youth to our elderly people as well.”

Chelsey Perkins can be reached at Follow her at and on Twitter @PEJ_Chelsey.

Chelsey Perkins

Chelsey Perkins grew up in Crosslake and is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. She earned her bachelor's degree in professional journalism at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Perkins interned at the Lake Country Echo and the Rochester and Austin Post-Bulletins, and also worked for the student-run Minnesota Daily newspaper as a copy editor and columnist during college. She went on to intern at Utne Reader magazine, where she was later hired as the research editor. Before becoming the community editor of the Brainerd Dispatch, Perkins worked as the county government beat reporter at the Dispatch and a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal.

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