Dear friends and supporters -
Thank you again for believing in the vision of the Positive Change Courtyard. I am so proud to announce the completion of this project and invite you to join us and see the beautiful spec we have created during these last four years. I truly hope to see you all there.
Positive Change Courtyard Dedication
South Eugene High School
May 22nd 2015
12-2 pm Open house
Dedication Ceremony at 12:30 pm
After tens of thousands of hours from hundreds of student, community and business volunteers beginning in Spring 2011, the South Eugene Positive Change Courtyard is finally completed and will have its Dedication ceremony on May 22nd 2015.
The courtyard project was launched after the tragic loss of two classmates during an Axeman pageant weekend at the coast in February 2011. In response to the tragedy and the remarkable outpouring of the community, the South Eugene Positive Change Club was formed with the intention of creating a lasting memorial to the positive spirit of Jack and Conner. The Positive Change Club led by Wendy Strgar, a parent at South Eugene, has included hundreds of students from the last four graduating classes.
Our student club members achieved amazing levels of work, tirelessly removing 150 tons of old concrete that they broke up with jack hammers, by the wheel barrow load and then months later bringing in 150 tons of gravel which now line the walkways.
Thanks to you our club also raised $23K in a Kickstarter campaign and has sold thousands of Positive Change Wristbands as well as a variety of Positive Change T-shirts supporting school athletics over the years.
In addition, the project brought students together with dozens of professionals and business people in the community who brought their expertise and made the project possible. The courtyard would not have been completed with out the help of Wildish Construction, Lane Forest Products, Rainbow Valley Construction to name only a few. So many parents, alumni from as far back as the first year of the school came together to guide the students efforts.
“There is something magical and amazing that happens when people get together to build something that belongs to all of us…. It is literally how we built this country one barn at a time in the old days.” Said Wendy Strgar “We have so few opportunities to create together now, and I wanted the kids to watch and learn that most things are possible if you don’t quit. Each year of graduating seniors said this about the project, that they know that it is possible to make something new and meaningful just by staying with it.”
Although Strgar started the project with the goal of teaching the kids about the power of adopting positive psychology in their lives, often it was the kids teaching her. Each time the project hit a road block, it was usually one of the students who would step up and problem solve, and say- “Wow, Wendy, you aren’t being very positive….”
This memorial courtyard project has became a home and resting place for so many families who have lost loved ones who had once been apart of the community at South Eugene High. One of the most touching stories was in the final hours of trying to raise the kickstarter funds when the class reunion coordinator from the Class of 1960 called and shared the story of Robert Granke’s tragic death when he fell from the rafters hanging lights in the auditorium in 1958. He was often thought to be a ghost in the auditorium, but now Robert is resting and remembered in the courtyard.
If you had any part in the completion of the courtyard, please join us on May 22nd at the dedication ceremony so we can thank you for making this project a success. And if you have never heard of the Positive Change club, come see what inspired teenagers can do to change the world.