Twin Cities Catholic schools show support, raise funds for Jablonski

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Cretin-Derham Hall

Faculty, staff and students at Cretin-Derham Hall, in a show of support for injured Benilde-St. Margaret’s JV hockey player, sophomore Jack Jablonski, wore the Red Knight colors on Friday, January 6, 2012.

Maddy Kennedy, Fashion Editor

What started as a few tweets and facebook messages has now turned into a movement that has helped one Catholic school raise $17,000 for the Jack Jablonski fund.

Many schools, both private and public, participated in the white and red out days on January 5 and 6, notably Hill-Murray, Cretin-Derham Hall, Holy Angels, and Holy Family. “There’s a healthy competition between the schools, but when one of our own is down, we come together,” said Hill-Murray Communications and Marketing Manager, Sheri Lunn.

Although support for Jablonski has been seen at all of these schools this week, support has been especially high at Hill-Murray, the alma mater of Jack’s father, Mike Jablonski. “The students are showing their sadness, but also hope. The mood here is one of strength,” said Lunn.

Another Hill-Murray grad and ex-hockey player, Pat Schafhauser, received a similar injury during a game and was also paralyzed; he is now the assistant coach for the Hill-Murray hockey team. “This issue really hits home with us,” said Sheri Lunn.

In addition to lending their thoughts and prayers, students have crafted makeshift Jablonski jerseys and signed a giant card for Jack. The faculty, staff, and students also began raising money for the Jablonski family this week, with surprising results. “By lunchtime [on the first day of collection], the Hill-Murray staff and students raised $17,000 for Jack and his family,” said Sheri Lunn. More money and support are expected to come in as Hill-Murray continues to accept donations until January 10.

Cretin-Derham Hall and Holy Family Catholic High School have also been equally aware and supportive of Jack’s situation. “As a community we are deeply shaken by [what happened to jack],” said Cretin-Derham Development Associate, Pat Oxley, “It’s difficult in a time like this to find the right words, but we are joined together in a community of faith and prayer, to support Jack and his family, and hope for the best possible recovery.”

Both Cretin-Derham and Holy Family students participated in the January 5 white out, but Holy Family has larger plans for a change in their dress code that allows students to appropriately show support for Jack. Students and staff plan on designing new uniform shirts for Catholic Schools Week. “[They’ll have] a Holy Family flavor, but a symbol or design to represent our support for Jack,” said Principal Kathie Brown. The Holy Family drama program also plans to pay tribute to Jack by doing a skit or demonstration in the coming weeks to highlight not only Jack’s pain, but the others in the student body and surrounding community.

Since the movement to raise awareness and support for Jack Jablonski was started by students, it is not surprising that students from all communities continue to show love and support for the cause. So far, Holy Angels has had two days dedicated to honoring Jablonski, where students were given an opportunity to sport red and white jerseys, shirts, and accessories rather than their normal blue and gold. “It’s simple, we just love Jabs,” said Holy Angels senior, Sarah Lohan.

“I heard about Jack through my friends, and I couldn’t believe something like this had actually happened,” said Holy Family senior Brenna Foley, “On white out day, I designed a Jabs graphic that I was writing on everyone’s arms.”

At the rate that Jablonski’s story is spreading, it’s not a surprise that it has come to affect so many people. “The Jabs story has really upset me. It’s so sad. My school has been really supporting Jabs, and we will continue to support him as long as he needs it,” said Holy Family senior Hannah Flom.

Although Jabs will not always be in the news or trending on Twitter, it is clear from the overwhelming support he has received from these schools this past week that no one is going to abandon him on his long road to recovery. “We’re definitely in this for the long haul,” said Kathie Brown, Holy Family Principal.