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Menahga students travel to fight flood

Menahga students return from a day of sand bagging in Fargo exahusted and sore. They rush to Fine Arts Night where they raised more than $700 for the Menahga Food Shelf. (Photos by Riham Feshir / Enterprise)1 / 6
National Honor Society students, from left, Allison Meyer, Jenny Johnson, Kay Rossbach, Caitlin Hillukka, Kellie Isaacson and Matthew Lundgren, serve soup and bread to the empty bowls that guests bought Thursday. The meal replicates that of a soup kitchen.2 / 6
Students made 70 bowls out of leftover clay at the school. They planned to make 100 bowls for $1,000 of proceeds to the Menahga Food Shelf. But the kiln broke down making things more hectic by forcing them to ship bowls to Sebeka and Nevis before bringing them back for glazing.3 / 6
Fine Arts Night features the "Great Hall Gallery Crawl" Thursday at Menahga School. Eighth graders showcase their talent through self portraits.4 / 6
Eighth graders also present creatively constructed clay masks in the Great Hall Gallery Crawl.5 / 6
Jenny Clements and son Jake pick out some the bowls they reserved before attending the event.6 / 6

Students give back to their community in two different ways

They came back muddy, sore and exhausted, but ready to continue working for a good cause.

On one of their biggest nights, Menahga students were shipped to Fargo to build dikes in an effort to fight the rising Red River.

Thursday was Fine Arts Night where most of the juniors and seniors who volunteered had major responsibilities in the event.

Forty-one students left at 8 a.m. that morning and returned just in time for Fine Arts Night at about 5:30 p.m.

"We messed up their lives," principal Mary Klamm joked. "But they saw the bigger picture."

Students then rushed to sell the remaining ceramic bowls to those who didn't reserve ahead of time. They had no trouble.

National Honor Society students had made 70 bowls and five minutes into the event, they were all sold out, bringing the total proceeds to $700.

They initially planned to make 100 but their kiln broke down, so they had to ship out some bowls to Sebeka and Nevis then bring them back for glazing.

The kiln incident was a setback, but NHS advisor Jennifer Farnam said all material used was recycled.

Art teacher Dawn Rossbach donated leftover clay from her classes as well as the glaze.

Students worked during study hall and for several hours after school to complete the project in time for the big night, Farnam said.

Fine Arts Night is an annual event, but this is the first year students feature the "Empty Bowls" project.

According to NHS students, guests chose a bowl to use that day for their meal of soup and bread - a simple meal that replicates that of a soup kitchen - and kept the bowl as a reminder that there are always empty bowls in the world.

Members of the community reserved bowls ahead of time by paying the suggested $10 donation that would later go to the Menahga Food Shelf. Some guests donated extra money to help an organization suffering from today's dismal economy.

"It's a very clever idea because there are a lot of empty bowls out there," Sharon Sutton, a new Menahga resident said. "Some of the things that these kids can do are incredible."

On Thursday, Menahga School featured "The Great Hall Gallery Crawl 2009," where a variety of artwork was displayed; from kindergarteners' abstract art to mature high school work.

The night included senior high school choir and elementary music students performances.

NHS juniors Kay Rossbach and Allison Meyer said they look forward to participating again next year.

Hopefully the kiln doesn't break down and there won't be flooding in Fargo, Rossbach, an exhausted sand bagger said.

Her NHS advisor agreed.

"We hope to make it on ongoing project," Farnam said.