The weather has not been kind to the members of the Pope John XXIII Central Catholic Jr. Right to Life group, but they have been busy turning nature’s fury into positive ways to share their message.
Pope John’s Jr. Right to Life group had been scheduled to attend the National March for Life in Washington D.C. on January 27th of this year, but due to a blizzard in northeast Nebraska, they were unable to make their bus trip across the country. Several area groups had donated funds to help offset the costs of the trip. After the students were unable to go, they began the process of returning the donations. The St. Boniface Knights of Columbus Council #2411 of Elgin had donated funds towards the trip and requested that the group keep the donation and find a way to utilize the money to promote the Right to Life cause.
That’s where the weather came into play again. On Christmas Day 2016, a long-standing pro-life message billboard on highway 14 north of Elgin was destroyed by high-powered winds. The sign had previously been a billboard for an area business. After the business closed, some area volunteers had turned it into a pro-life message board.
After learning of the sign’s destruction, the group’s faculty sponsor, Sister Patricia Hoffman and co-Presidents Shantel Preister, Sydney Kerkman, and Emily Seier began working with their Jr. Right to Life members at Pope John to develop a new sign. They asked members to submit message ideas for the sign and selected one created by Pope John junior, Paige Meis – “Every Life Deserves A Lifetime”. The school’s Advancement Office helped the group select a photo and submit a final design for creation by a local sign company. The new billboard was put in the previous sign’s place by school supporters using equipment loaned free of charge by a local business – Beckman Lumber. The group was able to pay for the project utilizing the Knights of Columbus Council’s donation.