Mundelein students party for clean water
Students at St. Mary of the Annunciation School show off the check they will present to parent Allen Stubitsch, who supports well-building in places where clean water is scarce. | Photo courtesy of St. Mary School
Updated: February 28, 2013 2:18PM
MUNDELEIN — For young children in Lake County, it might be hard to grasp global problems or do anything about them. But a Mundelein man is helping students at a local school do both.
The 121 pupils at Mundelein’s St. Mary of the Annunciation School have an annual Mardi Gras party on the Tuesday before the start of Lent, called a mission party. The event raises money for charitable causes, and parents set up carnival games in the gym.
Traditionally, money raised has benefitted the Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart, which aids orphaned and disadvantaged children in Uganda. But this year, students raised $1,100 to put toward efforts by a father of one of their own second-graders, James Stubitsch.
James’ dad, Allen Stubitsch, is the owner of Midwest Pond Design, and the local businessman also raises money for The Water Project. The nonprofit organization funds well-building in parts of the world where clean drinking water is scarce.
Fourth-grade teacher Jinny Jacobsen said last year’s party also donated some proceeds to The Water Project through Stubitsch, but this year mission party organizers decided all money would go to the charity. The school will present the proceeds to him on March 4.
“We feel it’s a wonderful cause,” Jacobsen said.
Jacobsen said last year Stubitsch gave a presentation to teach students about the lack of clean water faced by many people in poor nations.
“It was very moving,” Jacobsen said. “It really hit home for them to see pictures of kids their age drinking from a dirty puddle.”
For teachers trying to impart the importance of taking care of others, the presentation provided a key example. Jacobsen said it reminded them of how lucky they are and to not take their good fortune for granted.
Stubitsch said when he spoke to the children, he knew some might find it hard to relate to extreme poverty.
“You’re just trying to have the light bulb go off,” he said.
To relate it to the students’ own lives, Stubitsch used the familiar terrain of Mundelein as an example and told them to imagine having to walk several miles just to collect clean water.
The kids, however, haven’t been the only beneficiaries of learning about a major world crisis.
Stubitsch said ever since he started raising money for The Water Project, he has become a student himself.
“I’ve educated myself so much,” he said. “We flush one to one and a half gallons of clean water every time we use the bathroom and there are 800 million people in the world who need it.”