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Students build a Rotary bench for the library

"It's a good sturdy bench," Rotarian Dick Whitcomb declared of the Hudson High School students' handiwork. The bench seat is made of one-and-a-half inch cherry and oak. The rest is pine. The inscription on the edge of the seat reads, "The greatest gift is a passion for reading." Photo by Randy Hanson1 / 3
Attending the bench dedication ceremony were, front from left, Hudson High School students Travis Laxen, Aria Feia, Grace Mitchell, Luke Nygaard; back, Children's Librarian Mary Davis, library board president Roy Sjoberg, first-year Rotarians Bruce Hanson and Mary Hofland, and high school woodworking teacher Aaron Haskins. Photo by Randy Hanson2 / 3
Aria Feia, left, and Grace Mitchell put the bench to use. Mitchell painted the leaf motif on the bench. Feia is working on a fabric tree that will provide a canopy over the bench at its final location in the children's area of the library. Photo by Randy Hanson3 / 3

The children's section of the Hudson Area Library has a colorful new bench.

Hudson High School students, with encouragement from first-year members of the Daybreak Rotary Club, made the forest green, treetop-shaped seat.

First-year Rotarians are charged with undertaking a local service project.

The Daybreak Club's first year committee decided to involve high school students in their project in keeping with Rotary's mission to enhance opportunities for youth.

Seeing a need for more seating in the library, they offered to furnish a bench for the children's area. The committee provided the money for materials and gave the assignment of designing and making the bench to student volunteers.

Students in Derek Sciacca's drafting class designed the bench.

Luke Nygaard, one of Aaron Haskins' woodworking students, did most of the building, with assistance from Travis Laxen.

Art student Grace Mitchell did the painting.

Four art students of Mary Muchlinski -- Emily Annen, Kaylynne Hibbard, Kathy Beadle and Aria Feia -- will design and make a fabric tree that will be attached to a wall and have a canopy of leaves overhanging the bench.

The bench was dedicated in a ceremony last Thursday evening at the library.

Spokesperson Mary Hofland said the first year committee wanted to provide something useful and visible for the community, and the library bench met that criteria.

She also noted that promoting literacy is one of Rotary's missions.

"I'm very pleased," Hofland said of the job the high school students did in designing and building the bench.

Library board president Roy Sjoberg said the gift was another indication that the community is "really excited" about the library since its move 700 First St. He called the new library a treasure.

Daybreak Club president David Robson also presented Sjoberg with a financial donation from the Rotary to the library.

Other first-year Rotarians who participated in the project were: Bruce Hanson, Yvonne Larson, Dawn Marquart, Jim Burns, Fernando Delgado, Mike Tully, Luke MacMenamin, Tom VanPelt, Laura Love, Al Wilkie, Jennifer Kemper, Greg Kemper, Kyla Hansen and Kevin Urbik.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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