Elston Middle School staff members stopped by Michigan City’s Washington Park Zoo on Monday, June 2, to present two checks to Director Johnny Martinez on behalf of the school. Elston students and staff raised over $1,200 through a "jeans day" fundraiser held each Friday in May. Funds will be used to purchase a remembrance bench dedicated to Elston Middle School.
Teachers Amy Wojasinski-Labis and Shari Mullins facilitated the fundraiser, with help from Kate Triemstra, Julie Geyer, and Elston administrators. “We are very happy that Elston will always be remembered at our great, local zoo,” said Wojasinski-Labis.
Additional funds were donated to the Zoo to purchase perennials that will be placed near the bench. Teacher Adam Goebel said he had initially secured a grant from the Unity Foundation to plant the flowers around Elston. “When it was decided to repurpose Elston, I asked the Unity foundation if I could use the grant for perennials to beautify the area near the Zoo’s Elston bench instead,” he said. “They agreed it was a fantastic idea. These flowers will be enjoyed year after year by Zoo visitors.”