Elkhart school
Hawthorne Elementary School students were hosted by the Wesley Foundation on a recent trip to Purdue University in West Lafayette.

Photo courtesy of Trinity UMC, Elkhart, Ind.

ELKHART, Ind. – Hawthorne Elementary School and Trinity United Methodist Church have a long history of working together in Elkhart. In September, that relationship travelled to Purdue University.

During an end-of-the-school-year thank-you event for adults who mentor students at the school, Hawthorne Principal Bruce Klonowski mentioned plans to take a busload of students, teachers and staff to Purdue University for Band Day and a Big-10 football game as part of the schools ongoing efforts to raise students’ hopes and aspirations. They needed someone to feed the students when they piled out of the bus.

Trinity Pastor Mark Dicken mentored a Hawthorne student and was present that day. He pretty quickly figured out how to connect the connectional dots.

Dicken contacted the United Methodist-related Wesley Foundation at Purdue University and asked if the students and staff there would be willing and able to provide a tailgate lunch for the Hawthorne students and staff if Trinity provided the funds for the meal.

When the Wesley Foundation said “yes,” Dicken then put out the call to Purdue alums at Trinity to “Boiler Up” with the funds that could make it happen. They responded with more than enough, resulting in very happy and full Hawthorne students and a contribution to the ministry of the Wesley Foundation.