by Joan Andrews
South Hills Public Relations Specialist
with Jodie LeMaster
South Hills Webmaster
STATE COLLEGE — Even as they work on end-of-the-year class projects, students from the Health Careers Clubs at all three of our locations have generously organized events to collect donations to benefit members of their communities.
Monetary donations were collected from a bake sale held in the Common Area at our main campus to benefit the Ronald McDonald House in Danville, which serves families of children hospitalized at Geisinger Medical Center.
Our Medical Assistant students asked classmates, faculty, and staff for their old eyeglasses to recycle for New Eyes for the Needy. A grand total of 681 pairs were collected from all 3 of our locations. Since it started, New Eyes has provided clear vision to over 8 million people in the United States and throughout the world, distributing over 195,000 recycled eyeglasses in 30 different countries last year.
At our Lewistown location, our students provided free blood pressure screenings and taught the kids how to hula-hoop during the annual Kid Connection, an event that is planned and organized by our very own Venus Shade, who is a Criminal Justice instructor.
And finally, Health Careers Club members at our State College campus collected food, treats, and toys for dogs like Natalia, seen in the photo above, who are enrolled in New Leash on Life USA, a volunteer-based dog training program operating within the State Correctional Institute at Rockview. The program rescues dogs from high-kill shelters and works with inmates to train the dogs to assist veterans with PTSD. Vets are given the dogs free of charge.
New Leash on Life is not funded by the Department of Corrections, so the group is actively seeking contributions from the community to keep the program running. Visit their website to find out how you can help.
Kari Schlegel was born in March 1992 and graduated from South Hills in September 2012.
The Kari Lynn Schlegel Memorial Gallery is named in memory of Kari Schlegel, a lifelong Bellefonte resident and 2012 graduate of the Graphic Arts program at South Hills.
Kari was often the exclamation point in any story about the Class of 2012. Her effervescent good mood, enthusiasm, and seemingly endless supply of optimism and positive spirit was infusive, lighting up the classroom.
Kari (right) is shown with her beloved sister, Mindy.
Her classmates still laugh at the memory of Kari wearing her bunny slippers on the Graphic Arts field trip to New York City. Groan-worthy puns and jokes? Kari had a volume of them. She delighted in sharing stories and photos of her four beloved cats as well as trivia and tales of Harry Potter and Disney World. She was a rare combination of innocence, maturity, trust, and hope. She was filled with a joy of life and an unconditional love for her friends, her family, her pets… and people she just met. That was Kari Schlegel.
Kari dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow for the South Hills “BooFest” Halloween party in 2012.
She loved her school, even coming back to audit several GA classes after graduating. Kari also particularly enjoyed returning to South Hills every summer to perform as part of the Music Picnic Series with the Bellefonte Community Band.
Kari died December 15, 2016, in a tragic automobile accident. It’s a loss everyone who knew her still feels. In the end, Kari truly lived her life with passion and joy, treating others as she wanted to be treated: with love, compassion, and respect.